Systemic CTLA-4 blockade ameliorates glioma-induced changes to the CD4+ T cell compartment without affecting regulatory T-cell function.
PURPOSE: Patients with malignant glioma suffer global compromise of their cellular immunity, characterized by dramatic reductions in CD4(+) T cell numbers and function. We have previously shown that increased regulatory T cell (T(reg)) fractions in these patients explain T-cell functional deficits. Our murine glioma model recapitulates these findings. Here, we investigate the effects of systemic CTLA-4 blockade in this model. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A monoclonal antibody (9H10) to CTLA-4 was employed against well-established glioma. Survival and risks for experimental allergic encephalomyelitis were assessed, as were CD4(+) T cell numbers and function in the peripheral blood, spleen, and cervical lymph nodes. The specific capacities for anti-CTLA-4 to modify the functions of regulatory versus CD4(+)CD25(-) responder T cells were evaluated. RESULTS: CTLA-4 blockade confers long-term survival in 80% of treated mice, without eliciting experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Changes to the CD4 compartment were reversed, as anti-CTLA-4 reestablishes normal CD4 counts and abrogates increases in CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+)GITR(+) regulatory T cell fraction observed in tumor-bearing mice. CD4(+) T-cell proliferative capacity is restored and the cervical lymph node antitumor response is enhanced. Treatment benefits are bestowed exclusively on the CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell population and not T(regs), as CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells from treated mice show improved proliferative responses and resistance to T(reg)-mediated suppression, whereas T(regs) from the same mice remain anergic and exhibit no restriction of their suppressive capacity. CONCLUSIONS: CTLA-4 blockade is a rational means of reversing glioma-induced changes to the CD4 compartment and enhancing antitumor immunity. These benefits were attained through the conferment of resistance to T(reg)-mediated suppression, and not through direct effects on T(regs).
Fecci, PE; Ochiai, H; Mitchell, DA; Grossi, PM; Sweeney, AE; Archer, GE; Cummings, T; Allison, JP; Bigner, DD; Sampson, JH
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