JAK-STAT-mediated chronic inflammation impairs cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation to decrease anti-PD-1 immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer

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26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human pancreatic cancer does not respond to immune check point blockade immunotherapy. One key feature of pancreatic cancer is the association between its progression and chronic inflammation. Emerging evidence supports a key role for the JAK-STAT pathway in pancreatic cancer inflammation. We aimed at testing the hypothesis that sustained JAK-STAT signaling suppresses cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation to counteract anti-PD-1 immunotherapy-induced CTL activity in pancreatic cancer. We show that human pancreatic carcinomas express high level of PD-L1 and exhibit low level of CTL infiltration. JAK-STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib selectively inhibits STAT1 and STAT3 activation and increases CTL infiltration to induce a Tc1/Th1 immune response in the tumor microenvironment in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. Ruxilitinib-mediated tumor suppressive efficacy diminishes in T-cell-deficient mice. Pancreatic tumor grows significantly faster in IFNγ-deficient mice. However, neutralizing IFNγ does not alter tumor growth but diminishes Ruxolitinib-induced tumor suppression in vivo, indicating that lymphocytes and IFNγ are essential for Ruxolitinib-induced host antitumor immune response. Both type I and type II interferons upregulate PD-L1 expression through the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in mouse pancreatic tumor cells. Tumor cells respond to activated T cells by activating STAT3. The inhibition of STAT3 downregulates immune suppressive cytokines production by tumor cells, resulting in increased T cell activation and effector function. Consequently, Ruxolitinib significantly improves the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Our data demonstrate that Ruxolitinib is effective in the inhibition of systemic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and therefore upregulates CTL infiltration and activation to overcome pancreatic cancer resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1291106
JournalOncoImmunology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

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Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes
Lymphocyte Activation
Pancreatic Neoplasms
Immunotherapy
Inflammation
Neoplasms
Tumor Microenvironment
T-Lymphocytes
Up-Regulation
Interferon Type I
Interferon-gamma
Down-Regulation
INCB018424
Lymphocytes
Cytokines
Growth

Keywords

  • Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes
  • FasL
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • Ruxolitinib
  • STAT1
  • STAT3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology

Cite this

@article{ee0b78efb1c74372816fdc295108cc46,
title = "JAK-STAT-mediated chronic inflammation impairs cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation to decrease anti-PD-1 immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer",
abstract = "Human pancreatic cancer does not respond to immune check point blockade immunotherapy. One key feature of pancreatic cancer is the association between its progression and chronic inflammation. Emerging evidence supports a key role for the JAK-STAT pathway in pancreatic cancer inflammation. We aimed at testing the hypothesis that sustained JAK-STAT signaling suppresses cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation to counteract anti-PD-1 immunotherapy-induced CTL activity in pancreatic cancer. We show that human pancreatic carcinomas express high level of PD-L1 and exhibit low level of CTL infiltration. JAK-STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib selectively inhibits STAT1 and STAT3 activation and increases CTL infiltration to induce a Tc1/Th1 immune response in the tumor microenvironment in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. Ruxilitinib-mediated tumor suppressive efficacy diminishes in T-cell-deficient mice. Pancreatic tumor grows significantly faster in IFNγ-deficient mice. However, neutralizing IFNγ does not alter tumor growth but diminishes Ruxolitinib-induced tumor suppression in vivo, indicating that lymphocytes and IFNγ are essential for Ruxolitinib-induced host antitumor immune response. Both type I and type II interferons upregulate PD-L1 expression through the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in mouse pancreatic tumor cells. Tumor cells respond to activated T cells by activating STAT3. The inhibition of STAT3 downregulates immune suppressive cytokines production by tumor cells, resulting in increased T cell activation and effector function. Consequently, Ruxolitinib significantly improves the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Our data demonstrate that Ruxolitinib is effective in the inhibition of systemic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and therefore upregulates CTL infiltration and activation to overcome pancreatic cancer resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.",
keywords = "Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes, FasL, PD-1, PD-L1, Ruxolitinib, STAT1, STAT3",
author = "Chunwan Lu and Asif Talukder and Savage, {Natasha Marie} and Nagendra Singh and Kebin Liu",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
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doi = "10.1080/2162402X.2017.1291106",
language = "English (US)",
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T1 - JAK-STAT-mediated chronic inflammation impairs cytotoxic T lymphocyte activation to decrease anti-PD-1 immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer

AU - Lu, Chunwan

AU - Talukder, Asif

AU - Savage, Natasha Marie

AU - Singh, Nagendra

AU - Liu, Kebin

PY - 2017/3/4

Y1 - 2017/3/4

N2 - Human pancreatic cancer does not respond to immune check point blockade immunotherapy. One key feature of pancreatic cancer is the association between its progression and chronic inflammation. Emerging evidence supports a key role for the JAK-STAT pathway in pancreatic cancer inflammation. We aimed at testing the hypothesis that sustained JAK-STAT signaling suppresses cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation to counteract anti-PD-1 immunotherapy-induced CTL activity in pancreatic cancer. We show that human pancreatic carcinomas express high level of PD-L1 and exhibit low level of CTL infiltration. JAK-STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib selectively inhibits STAT1 and STAT3 activation and increases CTL infiltration to induce a Tc1/Th1 immune response in the tumor microenvironment in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. Ruxilitinib-mediated tumor suppressive efficacy diminishes in T-cell-deficient mice. Pancreatic tumor grows significantly faster in IFNγ-deficient mice. However, neutralizing IFNγ does not alter tumor growth but diminishes Ruxolitinib-induced tumor suppression in vivo, indicating that lymphocytes and IFNγ are essential for Ruxolitinib-induced host antitumor immune response. Both type I and type II interferons upregulate PD-L1 expression through the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in mouse pancreatic tumor cells. Tumor cells respond to activated T cells by activating STAT3. The inhibition of STAT3 downregulates immune suppressive cytokines production by tumor cells, resulting in increased T cell activation and effector function. Consequently, Ruxolitinib significantly improves the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Our data demonstrate that Ruxolitinib is effective in the inhibition of systemic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and therefore upregulates CTL infiltration and activation to overcome pancreatic cancer resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.

AB - Human pancreatic cancer does not respond to immune check point blockade immunotherapy. One key feature of pancreatic cancer is the association between its progression and chronic inflammation. Emerging evidence supports a key role for the JAK-STAT pathway in pancreatic cancer inflammation. We aimed at testing the hypothesis that sustained JAK-STAT signaling suppresses cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation to counteract anti-PD-1 immunotherapy-induced CTL activity in pancreatic cancer. We show that human pancreatic carcinomas express high level of PD-L1 and exhibit low level of CTL infiltration. JAK-STAT inhibitor Ruxolitinib selectively inhibits STAT1 and STAT3 activation and increases CTL infiltration to induce a Tc1/Th1 immune response in the tumor microenvironment in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. Ruxilitinib-mediated tumor suppressive efficacy diminishes in T-cell-deficient mice. Pancreatic tumor grows significantly faster in IFNγ-deficient mice. However, neutralizing IFNγ does not alter tumor growth but diminishes Ruxolitinib-induced tumor suppression in vivo, indicating that lymphocytes and IFNγ are essential for Ruxolitinib-induced host antitumor immune response. Both type I and type II interferons upregulate PD-L1 expression through the JAK-STAT signaling pathway in mouse pancreatic tumor cells. Tumor cells respond to activated T cells by activating STAT3. The inhibition of STAT3 downregulates immune suppressive cytokines production by tumor cells, resulting in increased T cell activation and effector function. Consequently, Ruxolitinib significantly improves the efficacy of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Our data demonstrate that Ruxolitinib is effective in the inhibition of systemic inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and therefore upregulates CTL infiltration and activation to overcome pancreatic cancer resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.

KW - Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

KW - FasL

KW - PD-1

KW - PD-L1

KW - Ruxolitinib

KW - STAT1

KW - STAT3

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