Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor-induced Reinvigoration of Tumor-infiltrating CD8(+) T Cells is Determined by Their Differentiation Status in Glioblastoma

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Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are used for the treatment of various cancers, but clinical trials of anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) with patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) have failed to show clinical benefits. In this study, we examined the differentiation status of CD8(+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from patients with primary GBM and their reinvigoration by ICIs to understand the nature of T-cell exhaustion in GBM. Experimental Design: We isolated TILs from 98 patients with newly diagnosed GBM and examined the expression of immune checkpoint receptors and T-cell transcription factors using flow cytometry. TILs were ex vivo stimulated with anti-CD3 in the presence of anti-PD-1 and/or anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and their proliferation assessed. Results: CD8(+) TILs had significantly increased expression of immune checkpoint receptors, including PD-1 and CTLA-4, compared with peripheral blood CD8(+) T cells. Among CD8(+) TILs, PD-1(+) cells exhibited more terminally differentiated phenotypes (i.e., Eomes(hi)T-bet(lo)) than PD-1(-) cells. These data were confirmed by analyzing NY-ESO-1(157)-specific CD8(+) TILs. Evaluating the proliferation of CD8(+) TILs after ex vivo stimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-PD-1, we found that proliferation inversely correlated with the percentage of Eomes(hi)T-bet(lo) cells among PD-1(+) CD8(+) TILs. When anti-CTLA-4 was used in combination with anti-PD-1, an additional increase in CD8(+) TIL proliferation was observed in patients with low percentages of Eomes(hi)T-bet(lo) CD8(+) TILs, who responded well to anti-PD-1 in ex vivo assays, but not in patients with high percentages of Eomes(hi)T-bet(lo) CD8(+) TILs, who did not respond to anti-PD-1. Conclusions: In primary GBM, the differentiation status of CD8(+) TILs determines their reinvigoration ability upon ICI treatment.
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CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH, v.25, no.8, pp.2549 - 2559

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MSE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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