CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells suppress tumor immunity but are sensitive to cyclophosphamide which allows immunotherapy of established tumors to be curative

François Ghiringhelli, Nicolas Larmonier, Elise Schmitt, Arnaud Parcellier, Dominique Cathelin, Carmen Garrido, Bruno Chauffert, Eric Solary, Bernard Bonnotte, François Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

726 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the mechanisms of immune tolerance raised by tumors by comparing immunogenic and tolerogenic tumor cell clones isolated from a rat colon carcinoma. When injected into syngeneic hosts, the immunogenic REGb cells yield tumors that are rejected, while the tolerogenic PROb cells yield progressive tumors and inhibit the regression of REGb tumors. We show here that PROb tumor volume is correlated with an expansion of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T lymphocytes in lymphoid tissues. These cells delay in vivo the rejection of REGb tumors and inhibit in vitro T cell-mediated immune responses against REGb cells through a mechanism that requires cell contact between effector and regulatory T cells and involves TGF-β. While total T cells from PROb tumor-bearing rats yield no apparent anti-tumor immune response, depletion of CD25+ T cells restores this reactivity. A single administration of cyclophosphamide depletes CD4+CD25+ T cells in PROb tumor-bearing animals, delays the growth of PROb tumors, and cures rats bearing established PROb tumors when followed by an immunotherapy which has no curative effect when administered alone. These results demonstrate the role of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in tumor-induced immune tolerance and the interest of regulatory T cell depletion to sensitize established tumors to immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Cyclosphosphamide
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Rodent
  • Tumor immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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