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Title: IL-15 induces strong but short-lived tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cell responses through the regulation of Tim-3 in breast cancer

IL-15 has pivotal roles in the control of CD8{sup +} memory T cells and has been investigated as a therapeutic option in cancer therapy. Although IL-15 and IL-2 share many functions together, including the stimulation of CD8 T cell proliferation and IFN-γ production, the different in vivo roles of IL-15 and IL-2 have been increasingly recognized. Here, we explored the different effects of IL-15 and IL-2 on tumor-infiltrating (TI) T cells from resected breast tumors. We found that neither IL-2 nor IL-15 induced intratumoral CD8 T cell proliferation by itself, but after CD3/CD28-stimulation, IL-15 induced significantly higher proliferation than IL-2 during early time points, at day 2, day 3 and day 6. However, the IL-15-induced proliferation leveled off at day 9 and day 12, whereas IL-2 induced lower but progressive proliferation at each time point. Furthermore, IL-15 caused an early and robust increase of IFN-γ in the supernatant of TI cell cultures, which diminished at later time points, while the IL-2-induced IFN-γ production remained constant over time. In addition, the IL-15-costimulated CD8 T cells presented higher frequencies of apoptotic cells. The diminishing IL-15-induced response was possibly due to regulatory and/or exhaustion mechanisms. We did not observe increased IL-10 or PD-1 upregulation,more » but we have found an increase of Tim-3 upregulation on IL-15-, but not IL-2-stimulated cells. Blocking Tim-3 function using anti-Tim-3 antibodies resulted in increased IL-15-induced proliferation and IFN-γ production for a prolonged period of time, whereas adding Tim-3 ligand galectin 9 led to reduced proliferation and IFN-γ production. Our results suggest that IL-15 in combination of Tim-3 blocking antibodies could potentially act as an IL-2 alternative in tumor CD8 T cell expansion in vitro, a crucial step in adoptive T cell therapy. - Highlights: • We explored the effects of IL-15 and IL-2 on tumor-infiltrating (TI) T cells of breast cancer. • IL-15 and IL-2 had different kinetics in inducing TI CD8 T cell responses. • IL-15 induced stronger but shorter-lived TI CD8 T cell responses than IL-2. • IL-15, but not IL-2, caused upregulation of Tim-3 on TI CD8 T cells. • Blocking Tim-3 resulted in increased IL-15-induced proliferation and IFN-γ production in TI CD8 T cells.« less
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  1. University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21201 (United States)
  2. Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China)
  3. Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (United States)
  4. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States)
  5. University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60607 (United States)
  6. University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
  7. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications; Journal Volume: 464; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States