The small molecule anti-tumor agent, 5, 6-dimethylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA, now called Vadimezan) is a potent macrophage and dendritic cell activating agent that, in the murine system, results in the release of large amounts of cytokines and chemokines. The mechanisms by which this release is mediated have not been fully elucidated. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways plays an important role in the regulation of proinflammatory cytokines, such as, TNFα, IL-1β, as well as the responses to extracellular stimuli, such as, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The results of this study demonstrate that DMXAA activates three members of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) superfamily, namely p38 MAPK, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1 and ERK2), and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) via a RIP2-independent mechanism in murine macrophages. By using selective inhibitors of MAPKs, this study confirms that both activated p38/MK2 pathways and ERK1/2 MAPK play a significant role in regulation of both TNF-α and IL-6 protein production induced by DMXAA at the post-transcriptional level. Our findings also show that Interferon-γ priming can dramatically augment TNF-α protein secretion induced by DMXAA through enhancing activation of multiple MAPKs pathways at the post-transcriptional level. This study expands current knowledge on mechanisms of how DMXAA acts as a potent anti-tumor agent in murine system and also provides useful information for further study on the mechanism of action of this potential anti-tumor compound in human macrophages.
MAPK; post-transcriptional regulation; TNFα; DMXAA; proinflammatory cytokines
Both advanced stage lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma are associated with a poor prognosis. Although there have been advances in treatment regimens for both diseases, these have had only a modest effect on their progressive course. Gene therapy for thoracic malignancies represents a novel therapeutic approach and has been evaluated in a number of clinical trials over the last two decades. Strategies have included induction of apoptosis, tumor suppressor gene replacement, suicide gene expression, cytokine based therapy, various vaccination approaches, and adoptive transfer of modified immune cells. This review will consider the clinical results, limitations, and future directions of gene therapy trials for thoracic malignancies.
Gene Therapy; Immunotherapy; Lung cancer; Mesothelioma
Multiple immunotherapy approaches have improved adaptive anti-tumor immune responses in patients with early stage disease; however, results have been less dramatic when treating patients with late stage disease. These blunted responses are likely due to a host of factors, including changes in the tumor microenvironment and systemic immunosuppressive features, which accompany advanced tumor states. We hypothesized that cytoreductive surgery could control these immunosuppressive networks and restore the potency of immunotherapy in advanced disease scenarios.
To test these hypotheses, two representative intratumoral immunotherapies (an adenoviral vector encoding a suicide gene, AdV-tk, or a type-I interferon, Ad.IFNα) were tested in murine models of lung cancer. Cytoreductive surgery was performed following treatment of advanced tumors. Mechanistic underpinnings were investigated using flow cytometry, in vivo leukocyte depletion methods and in vivo tumor neutralization assays.
AdV-tk and Ad.IFNα were effective in treating early lung cancers, but had little anti-tumor effects in late stage cancers. Interestingly, in late stage scenarios, surgical cytoreduction unmasked the anti-tumor potency of both immunotherapeutic approaches. Immune mechanisms that explained restoration in anti-tumor immune responses included increased CD8 T-cell trafficking and reduced myeloid derived suppressor cell populations.
This study demonstrates that surgical resection combined with immunotherapy may be a rational therapeutic option for patients with advanced stage cancer.
Surgical oncology; Immunotherapy; Cancer; Animal model
Rationale: Acute lung injury (ALI) acts as a complex genetic trait, yet its genetic risk factors remain incompletely understood. Large-scale genotyping has not previously been reported for ALI.
Objectives: To identify ALI risk variants after major trauma using a large-scale candidate gene approach.
Methods: We performed a two-stage genetic association study. We derived findings in an African American cohort (n = 222) using a cardiopulmonary disease–centric 50K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. Genotype and haplotype distributions were compared between subjects with ALI and without ALI, with adjustment for clinical factors. Top performing SNPs (P < 10−4) were tested in a multicenter European American trauma-associated ALI case-control population (n = 600 ALI; n = 2,266 population-based control subjects) for replication. The ALI-associated genomic region was sequenced, analyzed for in silico prediction of function, and plasma was assayed by ELISA and immunoblot.
Measurements and Main Results: Five SNPs demonstrated a significant association with ALI after adjustment for covariates in Stage I. Two SNPs in ANGPT2 (rs1868554 and rs2442598) replicated their significant association with ALI in Stage II. rs1868554 was robust to multiple comparison correction: odds ratio 1.22 (1.06–1.40), P = 0.0047. Resequencing identified predicted novel splice sites in linkage disequilibrium with rs1868554, and immunoblots showed higher proportion of variant angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) isoform associated with rs1868554T (0.81 vs. 0.48; P = 0.038).
Conclusions: An ANGPT2 region is associated with both ALI and variation in plasma angiopoietin-2 isoforms. Characterization of the variant isoform and its genetic regulation may yield important insights about ALI pathogenesis and susceptibility.
acute lung injury; acute respiratory distress syndrome; functional genetic polymorphism; genetic association study
Surgery is the most effective therapy for cancer in the United States, but disease still recurs in more than 40% of patients within 5 years after resection. Chemotherapy is given postoperatively to prevent relapses; however, this approach has had marginal success. After surgery, recurrent tumors depend on rapid neovascular proliferation to deliver nutrients and oxygen. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the vascular endothelial cells in the tumor microenvironment but is notably absent on blood vessels in normal tissues. Thus, PS is an attractive target for cancer therapy after surgery. Syngeneic mice bearing TC1 lung cancer tumors were treated with mch1N11 (a novel mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody that targets PS), cisplatin (cis), or combination after surgery. Tumor relapses and disease progression were decreased 90% by combination therapy compared with a 50% response rate for cis alone (P = .02). Mice receiving postoperative mch1N11 had no wound-related complications or added systemic toxicity in comparison to control animals. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that the effects of mch1N11 were associated with a dense infiltration of inflammatory cells, particularly granulocytes. This strategy was independent of the adaptive immune system. Together, these data suggest that vascular-targeted strategies directed against exposed PS may be a powerful adjunct to postoperative chemotherapy in preventing relapses after cancer surgery.
Prediction of cancer recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) currently relies on the assessment of clinical characteristics including age, tumor stage, and smoking history. A better prediction of early stage cancer patients with poorer survival and late stage patients with better survival is needed to design patient-tailored treatment protocols. We analyzed gene expression in RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of NSCLC patients to identify signatures predictive of overall patient survival. We find that PBMC gene expression patterns from NSCLC patients, like patterns from tumors, have information predictive of patient outcomes. We identify and validate a 26 gene prognostic panel that is independent of clinical stage. Many additional prognostic genes are specific to myeloid cells and are more highly expressed in patients with shorter survival. We also observe that significant numbers of prognostic genes change expression levels in PBMC collected after tumor resection. These post-surgery gene expression profiles may provide a means to re-evaluate prognosis over time. These studies further suggest that patient outcomes are not solely determined by tumor gene expression profiles but can also be influenced by the immune response as reflected in peripheral immune cells.
Endothelial targeting of antioxidant enzymes attenuates acute vascular oxidative stress in animal studies. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase conjugated with antibodies to Platelet-Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (anti-PECAM/SOD and anti-PECAM/catalase) bind to endothelium, accumulate in the pulmonary vasculature, and detoxify reactive oxygen species. In order to define the role of conjugate size in the efficacy and specificity of endothelial targeting, we synthesized anti-PECAM/enzyme conjugates of controlled size (40 nm–10,000 nm). Binding of anti-PECAM/enzymes to endothelial cells increased with conjugate size from 300 nm to 2 μm (from 2.5 to 8.5% of bound fraction), and was specific, as conjugates did not bind to PECAM-negative cells. Pulmonary uptake of anti-PECAM/enzyme conjugates injected intravenously in mice also increased from 4.5 to 16% of Injected Dose for particles from 200 to 800 nm. However, control conjugates larger than 300 nm showed elevated non-specific pulmonary uptake, indicating that the targeting specificity of anti-PECAM/enzyme conjugates in vivo has a bell-shaped curve with a maximum close to 300-nm diameter. These results show that: i) the size of an antibody/enzyme conjugate modulates efficacy and specificity of targeting, and ii) a size optimum should be defined in vivo to account for parameters that are difficult to model in cell culture.
Vascular immunotargeting; endothelium; antioxidant delivery; lungs
Neutrophil migration into inflamed tissues is a fundamental component of innate immunity. A decisive step in this process is the polarised migration of blood neutrophils through endothelial cells (ECs) lining the venular lumen (transendothelial cell migration; TEM) in a luminal to abluminal direction. Using real-time confocal imaging we report that neutrophils can exhibit disrupted polarised TEM (“hesitant” and “reverse”) in vivo. These events were noted in inflammation following ischemia-reperfusion injury, characterised by reduced expression of junctional adhesion molecule C (JAM-C) from EC junctions, and were enhanced by EC JAM-C blockade or genetic deletion. The results identify JAM-C as a key regulator of polarised neutrophil TEM in vivo and suggest that reverse TEM neutrophils can contribute to dissemination of systemic inflammation.
The role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of lung cancer has been increasingly appreciated. Monocyte chemoattractant protein–1 (MCP-1, also known as CCL2) is secreted from tumor cells and associated tumor stromal cells. The blockade of CCL2, as mediated by neutralizing antibodies, was shown to reduce tumorigenesis in several solid tumors, but the role of CCL2 in lung cancer remains controversial, with evidence of both protumorigenic and antitumorigenic effects. We evaluated the effects and mechanisms of CCL2 blockade in several animal models of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Anti-murine–CCL2 monoclonal antibodies were administered in syngeneic flank and orthotopic models of NSCLC. CCL2 blockade significantly slowed the growth of primary tumors in all models studied, and inhibited lung metastases in a model of spontaneous lung metastases of NSCLC. In contrast to expectations, no significant effect of treatment was evident in the number of tumor-associated macrophages recruited into the tumor after CCL2 blockade. However, a change occurred in the polarization of tumor-associated macrophages to a more antitumor phenotype after CCL2 blockade. This was associated with the activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs). The antitumor effects of CCL2 blockade were completely lost in CB-17 severe combined immunodeficient mice or after CD8 T-cell depletion. Our data from NSCLC models show that CCL2 blockade can inhibit the tumor growth of primary and metastatic disease. The mechanisms of CCL2 blockade include an alteration of the tumor macrophage phenotype and the activation of CTLs. Our work supports further evaluation of CCL2 blockade in thoracic malignancies.
tumor immunology; CCL2; lung cancer; mesothelioma; tumor-associated macrophages
Redirecting T lymphocyte antigen specificity by gene transfer can provide large numbers of tumor reactive T lymphocytes for adoptive immunotherapy. However, safety concerns associated with viral vector production have limited clinical application of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). T lymphocytes can be gene modified by RNA electroporation without integration-associated safety concerns. To establish a safe platform for adoptive immunotherapy, we first optimized the vector backbone for RNA in vitro transcription to achieve high level transgene expression. CAR expression and function of RNA-electroporated T cells could be detected up to a week post electroporation. Multiple injections of RNA CAR electroporated T cells mediated regression of large vascularized flank mesothelioma tumors in NOD/scid/γc(−/−) mice. Dramatic tumor reduction also occurred when the pre-existing intraperitoneal human-derived tumors, that had been growing in vivo for over 50 days, were treated by multiple injections of autologous human T cells electroporated with anti-mesothelin CAR mRNA. This is the first report using matched patient tumor and lymphocytes demonstrating that autologous T cells from cancer patients can be engineered to provide an effective therapy for a disseminated tumor in a robust preclinical model. Multiple injections of RNA engineered T cells are a novel approach for adoptive cell transfer, providing flexible platform for the treatment of cancer that may complement the use of retroviral and lentiviral engineered T cells. This approach may increase the therapeutic index of T cells engineered to express powerful activation domains without the associated safety concerns of integrating viral vectors.
adoptive transfer; chimeric antigen receptor; electroporation; tumor immunotherapy; mesothelioma
Recent evidence suggests that storage induced alterations of the red blood cell (RBC) are associated with adverse consequences in susceptible hosts. As RBCs have been shown to form Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) following increased oxidative stress and under pathologic conditions, we examined whether stored RBCs undergo modification with the specific AGE, N-(Carboxymethyl)lysine (Nε-CML) during standard blood banking conditions.
Study Design and Methods
Purified, fresh RBCs from volunteers were compared to stored RBCs (d 35–42 old) obtained from the Blood Bank. Nε-CML formation was quantified using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) was detected in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells by real-time PCR, western blotting, and flow cytometry. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was measured by the use of 5-(and 6-)chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester based assays.
Stored RBCs showed increased surface Nε-CML formation when compared with fresh RBCs. Human Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMVEC-L) showed detectable surface RAGE expression constitutively. When compared to fresh RBCs, stored RBCs triggered increased intracellular ROS generation in both Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) and Human Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMVEC-L). RBC-induced endothelial ROS generation was attenuated in the presence of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) or RAGE blocking antibody.
The formation of the AGE Nε-CML on the surface of stored RBCs is one functional consequence of the storage lesion. AGE-RAGE interactions may be one mechanism by which transfused RBCs cause endothelial cell damage.
AGE (advanced glycation endproducts); Nε-CML (N-Carboxymethyl-lysine); RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation endproducts)
Since an immuno-inhibitory environment exists within tumors, successful vaccines will likely require additional approaches to alter the tumor microenvironment. Monocyte chemoattractant proteins (such as CCL2) are produced by many tumors and have both direct and indirect immuno-inhibitory effects. We hypothesized that CCL2 blockade would reduce immunosuppression and augment vaccine immunotherapy. Anti-murine-CCL2/CCL12 monoclonal antibodies were administered in three immunotherapy models: one aimed at the HPV-E7 antigen expressed by a non-small cell lung cancer line, one targeted to mesothelin expressed by a mesothelioma cell line, and one using an adenovirus expressing Interferon-α to treat a non-immunogenic, non-small cell lung cancer line. We evaluated the effect of the combination treatment on tumor growth and assessed the mechanism of these changes by evaluating cytotoxic T cells, immunosuppressive cells, and the tumor microenvironment. Administration of anti-CCL2/CCL12 antibodies along with the vaccines markedly augmented efficacy with enhanced reduction in tumor volume and cures of approximately half of the tumors. The combined treatment generated more total intra-tumoral CD8+ T-cells that were more activated and more anti-tumor antigen specific, as measured by tetramer evaluation. Another important potential mechanism was reduction in intratumoral T-regulatory (T-reg) cells. CCL2 appears to be a key proximal cytokine mediating immunosuppression in tumors. Its blockade augments CD8+ T cell immune response to tumors elicited by vaccines via multifactorial mechanisms. These observations suggest that combining CCL2 neutralization with vaccines should be considered in future immunotherapy trials.
CCL2; Cancer immunotherapy; Lung Cancer; Mesothelioma; T-lymphocytes
TGF-β blockade significantly slows tumor growth through many mechanisms, including activation of CD8+ T-cells and macrophages. Here, we show that TGF-β blockade also increases neutrophil-attracting chemokines resulting in an influx of CD11b+/Ly6G+ tumor-associated neutrophils (TAN) that are hypersegmented, more cytotoxic to tumor cells, and express higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Accordingly, following TGF-β blockade, depletion of these neutrophils significantly blunts anti-tumor effects of treatment and reduces CD8+ T-cell activation. In contrast, in control tumors, neutrophil depletion decreases tumor growth and results in more activated CD8+ T-cells intra-tumorally. Together, these data suggest that TGF-β within the tumor microenvironment induces a population of TAN with a pro-tumor phenotype. TGF-β blockade results in the recruitment and activation of TAN with an anti-tumor phenotype.
tumor immunology; immunosuppression; TGFβ; tumor associated macrophages; Tumor associated neutrophils; lung cancer; mesothelioma
Rationale: Endothelial thrombomodulin (TM) regulates thrombosis and inflammation. Diverse forms of pulmonary and vascular injury are accompanied by down-regulation of TM, which aggravates tissue injury. We postulated that anchoring TM to the endothelial surface would restore its protective functions.
Objectives: To design an effective and safe strategy to treat pulmonary thrombotic and inflammatory injury.
Methods: We synthesized a fusion protein, designated scFv/TM, by linking the extracellular domain of mouse TM to a single-chain variable fragment of an antibody to platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1). The targeting and protective functions of scFv/TM were tested in mouse models of lung ischemia-reperfusion and acute lung injury (ALI) caused by intratracheal endotoxin and hyperoxia, both of which caused approximately 50% reduction in the endogenous expression of TM.
Measurements and Main Results: Biochemical assays showed that scFv/TM accelerated protein C activation by thrombin and bound mouse PECAM-1 and cytokine high mobility group-B1. After intravenous injection, scFv/TM preferentially accumulated in the mouse pulmonary vasculature. In a lung model of ischemia-reperfusion injury, scFv/TM attenuated elevation of early growth response-1, inhibited pulmonary deposition of fibrin and leukocyte infiltration, and preserved blood oxygenation more effectively than soluble TM. In an ALI model, scFv/TM, but not soluble TM, suppressed activation of nuclear factor-κB, inflammation and edema in the lung and reduced mortality without causing hemorrhage.
Conclusions: Targeting TM to the endothelium using an scFv anchor enhances its antithrombotic and antiinflammatory effectiveness in models of ALI.
vascular targeting; acute lung injury; PECAM-1; protein C; pulmonary endothelium
A potential strategy for diagnosing lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related death, is to identify metabolic signatures (biomarkers) of the disease. Although data supports the hypothesis that volatile compounds can be detected in the breath of lung cancer patients by the sense of smell or through bioanalytical techniques, analysis of breath samples is cumbersome and technically challenging, thus limiting its applicability. The hypothesis explored here is that variations in small molecular weight volatile organic compounds (“odorants”) in urine could be used as biomarkers for lung cancer. To demonstrate the presence and chemical structures of volatile biomarkers, we studied mouse olfactory-guided behavior and metabolomics of volatile constituents of urine. Sensor mice could be trained to discriminate between odors of mice with and without experimental tumors demonstrating that volatile odorants are sufficient to identify tumor-bearing mice. Consistent with this result, chemical analyses of urinary volatiles demonstrated that the amounts of several compounds were dramatically different between tumor and control mice. Using principal component analysis and supervised machine-learning, we accurately discriminated between tumor and control groups, a result that was cross validated with novel test groups. Although there were shared differences between experimental and control animals in the two tumor models, we also found chemical differences between these models, demonstrating tumor-based specificity. The success of these studies provides a novel proof-of-principle demonstration of lung tumor diagnosis through urinary volatile odorants. This work should provide an impetus for similar searches for volatile diagnostic biomarkers in the urine of human lung cancer patients.
Locally-produced TGF-β promotes tumor-induced immunosuppression and contributes to resistance to immunotherapy. This paper explores the potential for increased efficacy when combining immunotherapies with TGF-β suppression using the TGF-β type I receptor kinase inhibitor, SM16. Adenovirus expressing IFNβ (Ad.IFNβ) was injected intratumorally once in established subcutaneous AB12 (mesothelioma) and LKR (lung cancer) tumors or intratracheally in a K-ras orthotopic lung tumor model. Mice bearing TC1 (lung cancer) tumors were vaccinated with two injections of adenovirus expressing HPV-E7 (Ad.E7). SM16 was administered orally in formulated chow. Tumor growth was assessed and cytokine-expression and cell populations were measured in tumors and spleens by real time-PCR and flow cytometry. SM16 potentiated the efficacy of both immunotherapies in each of the models and caused changes in the tumor microenvironment. The combination of SM16 and Ad.INFβ increased the number of intratumoral leukocytes (including macrophages, NK cells, and CD8+ cells) and increased the percentage of T-cells expressing the activation marker CD25. SM16 also augmented the anti-tumor effects of Ad.E7 in the TC1 flank tumor model. The combination did not increase HPV-E7 tetramer-positive CD8+ T cells in the spleens, but did induce a marked increase in the tumors. Tumors from SM16-treated mice showed increased mRNA and protein for immunostimulatory cytokines and chemokines, as well as endothelial adhesion molecules, suggesting a mechanism for the increased intratumoral leukocyte trafficking. Blockade of the TGF-β signaling pathway augments the anti-tumor effects of Ad.INFβ immune-activating or Ad.E7 vaccination therapy. The addition of TGF-β blocking agents in clinical trials of immunotherapies may increase efficacy.
tumor immunology; immunosuppression; TGFβ; tumor associated macrophages; cytokines; lung cancer; mesothelioma; tumor vaccine; interferon-β
Coupling drug carriers to antibodies for targeting endothelial cells (ECs) may improve treatment of vascular and pulmonary diseases. Selecting antibodies that deliver carriers to the cell surface or intracellularly may further optimize specifcity of interventions. We studied antibody-directed targeting of nanocarriers to platelet–endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-1, an endothelial glycoprotein containing 6 Ig-like extracellular domains. PECAM-1 antibodies bind to ECs without internalization, but ECs internalize by endocytosis nanocarriers carrying multiple copies of anti-PECAM (anti-PECAM/NCs). To determine whether binding and intracellular transport of anti-PECAM/NCs depend on the epitope engaged, we targeted five PECAM-1 epitopes: mAb35, mAb37 and mAb62 (membrane-distal Ig domain 1), mAbGi34 (Ig domains 2/3), and mAb4G6 (membrane-proximal Ig domain 6). The antibodies bound to ECs regardless of the epitope proximity to the plasmalemma, whereas 130 nm diameter nanocarriers only targeted effectively distal domains (mAb4G6/NCs did not bind to ECs). ECs internalized mAb35, mAb62, and mAbGi34 carriers regardless of their size (0.13 to 5 µm diameter), yet they did not internalize mAb37/NCs. After internalization, mAb62/NCs trafficked to lysosomes within 2–3 h, whereas mAb35/NCs had prolonged residence in pre-lysosomal vesicles. Therefore, endothelial binding, endocytosis, and intracellular transport of anti-PECAM/NCs are epitope-specific. This paradigm will guide the design of endothelial drug delivery systems providing specific cellular localizations.
Vascular targeting; Endothelial PECAM-1; Polymer carriers; Endocytosis; Intracellular drug delivery
Adoptive cellular immunotherapy has promise as an approach to eradicate established tumors. However, a significant hurdle in the success of cellular immunotherapy involves recently identified mechanisms of immune suppression on cytotoxic T-cells at the effector phase.
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is one of the most important of these immunosuppressive factors because it affects both T-cell and macrophage functions. We thus hypothesized that systemic blockade of TGF-β signaling combined with adoptive T-cell transfer would enhance the effectiveness of the therapy.
Flank tumors were generated in mice using the OVA-albumin (OA) expressing thymoma cell line, EG7. Splenocytes from transgenic OT-1 mice (whose CD8 T-cells recognize an immunodominant peptide in OA) were activated in vitro and adoptively transferred into mice bearing large tumors in the presence or absence of an orally available TGF-β receptor-I kinase blocker (SM16).
We observed markedly smaller tumors in the group receiving the combination of SM16 chow and adoptive transfer. Additional investigation revealed that TGF-β receptor blockade increased the persistence of adoptively transferred T-cells in the spleen and lymph nodes, increased numbers of adoptively transferred T-cells within tumors, increased activation of these infiltrating T-cells, and altered the tumor microenvironment with a significant increase in TNF-α and decrease in arginase mRNA expression
We found that systemic blockade of TGF-β receptor activity augmented the anti-tumor activity of adoptively transferred T-cells and may thus be a useful adjunct in future clinical trials.
tumor immunology; immunosuppression; TGFβ; Cytotoxic T-cells; cytokines; adoptive transfer
The medical utility of proteins, e.g. therapeutic enzymes, is greatly restricted by their liable nature and inadequate delivery. Most therapeutic enzymes do not accumulate in their targets and are inactivated by proteases. Targeting of enzymes encapsulated into substrate-permeable Polymeric Nano-Carriers (PNC) impermeable for proteases might overcome these limitations. To test this hypothesis, we designed endothelial targeted PNC loaded with catalase, the H2O2-detoxifying enzyme, and tested if this approach protects against vascular oxidative stress, a pathological process implicated in ischemia-reperfusion and other disease conditions. Encapsulation of catalase (MW 240KD), peroxidase (MW 42kD) and xanthine oxidase (XO, MW 300 kD) into ~300nm diameter PNC composed of co-polymers of PEG-PLGA (polyethylene glycol and poly-lactic/poly-glycolic acid) was in the range ~10% for all enzymes. PNC/catalase and PNC/peroxidase were protected from external proteolysis and exerted the enzymatic activity on their PNC diffusible substrates, H2O2 and ortho-phenylendiamine, whereas activity of encapsulated XO was negligible due to polymer impermeability to the substrate. PNC targeted to platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 delivered active encapsulated catalase to endothelial cells and protected the endothelium against oxidative stress in cell culture and animal studies. Vascular targeting of PNC-loaded detoxifying enzymes may find wide medical applications including management of oxidative stress and other toxicities.
IL-18 has pleotropic effects on the activation of T cells during antigen presentation. We investigated the effects of human IL-18 on the engraftment and function of human T cell subsets in xenograft mouse models. IL-18 enhanced the engraftment of human CD8+ effector T cells and promoted the development of xenogeneic graft versus host disease (GVHD). In marked contrast, IL-18 had reciprocal effects on the engraftment of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the xenografted mice. Adoptive transfer experiments indicated that IL-18 prevented the suppressive effects of Tregs on the development of xenogeneic GVHD. The IL-18 results were robust as they were observed in two different mouse strains. In addition, the effects of IL-18 were systemic as IL-18 promoted engraftment and persistence of human effector T cells and decreased Tregs in peripheral blood, peritoneal cavity, spleen and liver. In vitro experiments indicated that the expression of the IL-18Rα was induced on both CD4 and CD8 effector T cells and Tregs, and that the duration of expression was less sustained on Tregs. These preclinical data suggest that human IL-18 may have use as an adjuvant for immune reconstitution after cytotoxic therapies, and to augment adoptive immunotherapy, donor leukocyte infusions, and vaccine strategies.
Vascular drug targeting may improve therapies, yet a thorough understanding of the factors that regulate effects of drugs directed to the endothelium is needed to translate this approach into the clinical domain. To define factors modulating the efficacy and effects of endothelial targeting, we used a model enzyme (glucose oxidase, GOX) coupled with monoclonal antibodies (anti-TM34 or anti-TM201) to distinct epitopes of thrombomodulin, a surface determinant enriched in the pulmonary endothelium. GOX delivery results in conversion of glucose and oxygen into H2O2 leading to lung damage, a clear physiologic endpoint. Results of in vivo studies in mice showed that the efficiency of cargo delivery and its effect are influenced by a number of factors including: 1) The level of pulmonary uptake of the targeting antibody (anti-TM201 was more efficient than anti-TM34); 2) The amount of an active drug delivered to the target; 3) The amount of target antigen on the endothelium (animals with suppressed TM levels showed less targeting); and, 4) The substrate availability for the enzyme cargo in the target tissue (hyperoxia augmented GOX-induced injury). Therefore, both activity of the conjugates and biological factors control targeting and effects of enzymatic cargo. Understanding the nature of such “modulating biological factors” will hopefully allow optimization and ultimately applications of drug targeting for “individualized” pharmacotherapy.
Vascular immunotargeting; endothelium; thrombomodulin; drug delivery; lungs; oxidative stress
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) released by neutrophils is an important mediator of endothelial cell (EC) injury and vascular inflammation via its effect on EC-free Ca2+, [Ca2+]i. Although the underlying mechanisms are not well understood, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-1/CD-31 is a critical modulator of neutrophil–EC transmigration. PECAM-1 is also known to regulate EC calcium signals and to undergo selective tyrosine phosphorylation. Here, we report that PECAM-1 molecules transduce EC responses to hydrogen peroxide. In human umbilical vein EC and REN cells (a PECAM-1–negative EC-like cell line) stably transfected with PECAM-1 (RHP), noncytolytic H2O2 exposure (100–200 μM H2O2) activated a calcium-permeant, nonselective cation current, and a transient rise in [Ca2+]i of similar time course. Neither response was observed in untransfected REN cells, and H2O2-evoked cation current was ablated in REN cells transfected with PECAM-1 constructs mutated in the cytoplasmic tyrosine–containing domain. The PECAM-dependent H2O2 current was inhibited by dialysis of anti–PECAM-1 cytoplasmic domain antibodies, required Src family tyrosine kinase activity, was independent of inositol trisphosphate receptor activation, and required only an intact PECAM-1 cytoplasmic domain. PECAM-1–dependent H2O2 currents and associated [Ca2+]i transients may play a significant role in regulating neutrophil–endothelial interaction, as well as in oxidant-mediated endothelial response and injury.
hydrogen peroxide; capacitative current; calcium; tyrosine kinase; ion channels
New therapeutic strategies are needed for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). We conducted a single-center, open-label, nonrandomized, pilot and feasibility trial using two intrapleural doses of an adenoviral vector encoding human IFN-α (Ad.IFN-α2b). Nine subjects were enrolled at two dose levels. The first three subjects had very high pleural and systemic IFN-α concentrations resulting in severe “flu-like” symptoms necessitating dose de-escalation. The next six patients had reduced (but still significant) pleural and serum IFN-α levels, but with tolerable symptoms. Repeated vector administration appeared to prolong IFN-α expression levels. Anti-tumor humoral immune responses against mesothelioma cell lines were seen in seven of the eight subjects evaluated. No clinical responses were seen in the four subjects with advanced disease. However, evidence of disease stability or tumor regression was seen in the remaining five patients, including one dramatic example of partial tumor regression at sites not in contiguity with vector infusion. These data show that Ad.IFN-α2b has potential therapeutic benefit in MPM and that it generates anti-tumor immune responses that may induce anatomic and/or metabolic reductions in distant tumor.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 01212367).
clinical trials; immunotherapy; gene therapy
Platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1) is a cell adhesion molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily that plays a role in a number of vascular processes including leukocyte transmigration through endothelium. The presence of a specific 19– amino acid exon within the cytoplasmic domain of PECAM-1 regulates the binding specificity of the molecule; specifically, isoforms containing exon 14 mediate heterophilic cell–cell aggregation while those variants missing exon 14 mediate homophilic cell–cell aggregation. To more precisely identify the region of exon 14 responsible for ligand specificity, a series of deletion mutants were created in which smaller regions of exon 14 were removed. After transfection into L cells, they were tested for their ability to mediate aggregation. For heterophilic aggregation to occur, a conserved 5–amino acid region (VYSEI in the murine sequence or VYSEV in the human sequence) in the mid-portion of the exon was required. A final construct, in which this tyrosine was mutated into a phenylalanine, aggregated in a homophilic manner when transfected into L cells. Inhibition of phosphatase activity by exposure of cells expressing wild type or mutant forms of PECAM-1 to sodium orthovanadate resulted in high levels of cytoplasmic tyrosine phosphorylation and led to a switch from heterophilic to homophilic aggregation. Our data thus indicate either loss of this tyrosine from exon 14 or its phosphorylation results in a change in ligand specificity from heterophilic to homophilic binding. Vascular cells could thus determine whether PECAM-1 functions as a heterophilic or homophilic adhesion molecule by processes such as alternative splicing or by regulation of the balance between tyrosine phosphorylation or dephosphorylation. Defining the conditions under which these changes occur will be important in understanding the biology of PECAM-1 in transmigration, angiogenesis, development, and other processes in which this molecule plays a role.
Drugs that can rapidly inhibit respiratory infection from influenza or other respiratory pathogens are needed. One approach is to engage primary innate immune defenses against viral infection, such as activating the IFN pathway. In this study, we report that a small, cell-permeable compound called 5,6-di-methylxanthenone-4-acetic acid (DMXAA) can induce protection against vesicular stomatitis virus in vitro and H1N1 influenza A virus in vitro and in vivo through innate immune activation. Using the mouse C10 bronchial epithelial cell line and primary cultures of nasal epithelial cells, we demonstrate DMXAA activates the IFN regulatory factor-3 pathway leading to production of IFN-β and subsequent high-level induction of IFN-β–dependent proteins, such as myxovirus resistance 1 (Mx1) and 2′,5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1). Mice treated with DMXAA intranasally elevate mRNA/protein expression of Mx1 and OAS1 in the nasal mucosa, trachea, and lung. When challenged intranasally with a lethal dose of H1N1 influenza A virus, DMXAA reduced viral titers in the lungs and protected 80% of mice from death, even when given at 24 hours before infection. These data show that agents, like DMXAA, that can directly activate innate immune pathways, such as the IFN regulatory factor-3/IFN-β system, in respiratory epithelial cells can be used to protect from influenza pneumonia and potentially in other respiratory viral infections. Development of this approach in humans could be valuable for protecting health care professionals and “first responders” in the early stages of viral pandemics or bioterror attacks.
innate immunity; interferon; influenza; pneumonia; bronchial epithelium