skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: CD8+ T cells inhibit metastasis and CXCL4 regulates its function
Abstract Background The mechanism by which immune cells regulate metastasis is unclear. Understanding the role of immune cells in metastasis will guide the development of treatments improving patient survival. Methods We used syngeneic orthotopic mouse tumour models (wild-type, NOD/scid and Nude), employed knockout ( CD8 and CD4 ) models and administered CXCL4. Tumours and lungs were analysed for cancer cells by bioluminescence, and circulating tumour cells were isolated from blood. Immunohistochemistry on the mouse tumours was performed to confirm cell type, and on a tissue microarray with 180 TNBCs for human relevance. TCGA data from over 10,000 patients were analysed as well. Results We reveal that intratumoral immune infiltration differs between metastatic and non-metastatic tumours. The non-metastatic tumours harbour high levels of CD8 + T cells and low levels of platelets, which is reverse in metastatic tumours. During tumour progression, platelets and CXCL4 induce differentiation of monocytes into myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which inhibit CD8 + T-cell function. TCGA pan-cancer data confirmed that CD8 low Platelet high patients have a significantly lower survival probability compared to CD8 high Platelet low . Conclusions CD8 + T cells inhibit metastasis. When the balance between CD8 + T cells and platelets is disrupted, platelets produce CXCL4, which induces MDSCs thereby inhibiting the CD8 + T-cell function.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
British Journal of Cancer
Page Range / eLocation ID:
176 to 189
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    We demonstrate a label free and high-throughput microbubble-based acoustic microstreaming technique to isolate rare circulating cells such as circulating cancer associated fibroblasts (cCAFs) in addition to circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and immune cells ( i.e. leukocytes) from clinically diagnosed patients with a capture efficiency of 94% while preserving cell functional integrity within 8 minutes. The microfluidic device is self-pumping and was optimized to increase flow rate and achieve near perfect capturing of rare cells enabled by having a trapping capacity above the acoustic vortex saturation concentration threshold. Our approach enables rapid isolation of CTCs, cCAFs and their associated clusters from blood samples of cancer patients at different stages. By examining the combined role of cCAFs and CTCs in early cancer onset and metastasis progression, the device accurately diagnoses both cancer and the metastatic propensity of breast cancer patients. This was confirmed by flow cytometry where we observed that metastatic breast cancer blood samples had significantly higher percentage of exhausted CD8 + T cells expressing programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1), higher number of CD4 + T regulatory cells and T helper cells. We show for the first time that our lateral cavity acoustic transducers (LCATs)-based approach can thus be developed into a metastatic propensity assay for clinical usage by elucidating cancer immunological responses and the complex relationships between CTCs and its companion tumor microenvironment. 
    more » « less
  2. Summary

    Tumour-reactive plasma cells (TRPCs) have been reported to be positively associated with the long-term survival of patients with various cancers. However, unlike tumour-specific antigen (TSA)-induced T cells which have precise effects against tumours, plasma cells require TSA to obtain specific responses. Therefore, the search for a TSA suitable for B-cell recognition is urgent. In this review, we discuss the functions of tumour-reactive plasma cells. Further, this review also explores the concept of screening for neoantigen-reactive plasma cells, drawing inspiration from T-cell screening methods. While challenges exist, such as epitope prediction and efficient screening, the development of novel techniques may lead to the discovery of highly specific plasma cells for adoptive cell therapy. In conclusion, tumour-reactive plasma cells are emerging as powerful players in cancer immunotherapy. Their ability to produce antibodies against a variety of antigens, especially neoantigens, opens new avenues for personalised treatments. Overcoming challenges in epitope prediction and screening will be crucial in harnessing the full potential of these plasma cells for the benefit of cancer patients.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract Background

    The etiology of sporadic Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains uncertain, but genetic, epidemiological, and physiological overlap between PD and inflammatory bowel disease suggests that gut inflammation could promote dysfunction of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Mechanisms behind this pathological gut-brain effect and their interactions with sex and with environmental factors are not well understood but may represent targets for therapeutic intervention.


    We sought to identify active inflammatory mechanisms which could potentially contribute to neuroinflammation and neurological disease in colon biopsies and peripheral blood immune cells from PD patients. Then, in mouse models, we assessed whether dextran sodium sulfate-mediated colitis could exert lingering effects on dopaminergic pathways in the brain and whether colitis increased vulnerability to a subsequent exposure to the dopaminergic neurotoxicant 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We assessed the involvement of inflammatory mechanisms identified in the PD patients in colitis-related neurological dysfunction in male and female mice, utilizing mice lacking the Regulator of G-Protein Signaling 10 (RGS10)—an inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB)—to model enhanced NFκB activity, and mice in which CD8+T-cells were depleted.


    High levels of inflammatory markers includingCD8Band NFκB p65 were found in colon biopsies from PD patients, and reduced levels of RGS10 were found in immune cells in the blood. Male mice that experienced colitis exhibited sustained reductions in tyrosine hydroxylase but not in dopamine as well as sustained CD8+T-cell infiltration and elevatedIfngexpression in the brain. CD8+T-cell depletion prevented colitis-associated reductions in dopaminergic markers in males. In both sexes, colitis potentiated the effects of MPTP. RGS10 deficiency increased baseline intestinal inflammation, colitis severity, and neuropathology.


    This study identifies peripheral inflammatory mechanisms in PD patients and explores their potential to impact central dopaminergic pathways in mice. Our findings implicate a sex-specific interaction between gastrointestinal inflammation and neurologic vulnerability that could contribute to PD pathogenesis, and they establish the importance of CD8+T-cells in this process in male mice.

    Graphical abstract 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is typically lethal, exhibiting intrinsic or acquired resistance to second-generation androgen-targeting therapies and minimal response to immune checkpoint inhibitors1. Cellular programs driving resistance in both cancer and immune cells remain poorly understood. We present single-cell transcriptomes from 14 patients with advanced prostate cancer, spanning all common metastatic sites. Irrespective of treatment exposure, adenocarcinoma cells pervasively coexpressed multiple androgen receptor isoforms, including truncated isoforms hypothesized to mediate resistance to androgen-targeting therapies2,3. Resistance to enzalutamide was associated with cancer cell–intrinsic epithelial–mesenchymal transition and transforming growth factor-β signaling. Small cell carcinoma cells exhibited divergent expression programs driven by transcriptional regulators promoting lineage plasticity and HOXB5, HOXB6 and NR1D2 (refs.4–6). Additionally, a subset of patients had high expression of dysfunction markers on cytotoxic CD8+T cells undergoing clonal expansion following enzalutamide treatment. Collectively, the transcriptional characterization of cancer and immune cells from human metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer provides a basis for the development of therapeutic approaches complementing androgen signaling inhibition.

    more » « less
  5. Dysregulation of the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) by means of mutation, amplification or overexpression plays a crucial role in cell growth, cell survival, cell motility during cancer progression and metastasis. EPHA3 (erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular carcinoma cell surface type A receptor 3) is a member of the RTKs. Evidence indicates that the upregulation of the EPHA3 activity is implicated in the pathobiology of various cancers, including prostate cancer, and thus, it is a prime therapeutic target in cancer. However, the role of EPHA3 signaling in prostate cancer progression remains obscure. Currently, the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) poses a clinical challenge because it is lethal. The molecular mechanisms that contribute to lethal prostate cancer are largely unknown. The objective of this study is to investigate whether EPHA3 signaling plays a critical role in prostate cancer progression and therapeutic relapse. Our analysis of the prostate cancer public datasets revealed that the EPHA3 gene was amplified up to 19% of metastatic CRPC cases with the neuroendocrine phenotype. Our immunological assay confirmed the positive staining of EPHA3 protein in human prostate cancer specimens. Our semi-quantitative and quantitative PCR assays demonstrated that the levels of EPHA3 vary among established prostate cancer cell lines. Nevertheless, we consistently found that the levels of EPHA3 mRNA in CRPC cell line, C4-2, were 3-fold higher than its castration-sensitive parental LNCaP cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that an increase in expression of EPHA3 mRNA in C4-2 compared with LNCaP cells coincided with the upregulation of the EPHA3 protein, as independently confirmed by western blotting and immunofluorescence imaging. These findings indicate that EPHA3 may confer an aggressive prostate cancer cell phenotype. Because androgen receptor (AR) signaling is a potent mediator of CRPC cell growth and survival, the targeting of EPHA3 signaling alone or together with AR may improve the efficacy of current therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer. 
    more » « less