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Authors Olson BM, Jankowska-Gan E, Becker JT, Vignali DA, Burlingham WJ, McNeel DG
Author Profile(s)
Journal J. Immunol. Volume: 189 Issue: 12 Pages: 5590-601
Publish Date 2012 Dec 15
PubMed ID 23152566
PMC ID 3735346

Regulatory T cells play important roles in cancer development and progression by limiting the generation of innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity. We hypothesized that in addition to natural CD4CD25 regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, tumor Ag-specific Tregs interfere with the detection of anti-tumor immunity after immunotherapy. Using samples from prostate cancer patients immunized with a DNA vaccine encoding prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) and a trans-vivo delayed-type hypersensitivity (tvDTH) assay, we found that the detection of PAP-specific effector responses after immunization was prevented by the activity of PAP-specific regulatory cells. These regulatory cells were CD8CTLA-4(), and their suppression was relieved by blockade of CTLA-4, but not IL-10 or TGF-β. Moreover, Ag-specific CD8() Tregs were detected prior to immunization in the absence of PAP-specific effector responses. These PAP-specific CD8CTLA-4() suppressor T cells expressed IL-35, which was decreased after blockade of CTLA-4, and inhibition of either CTLA-4 or IL-35 reversed PAP-specific suppression of tvDTH response. PAP-specific CD8()CTLA-4() T cells also suppressed T cell proliferation in an IL-35-dependent, contact-independent fashion. Taken together, these findings suggest a novel population of CD8()CTLA-4(+) IL-35-secreting tumor Ag-specific Tregs arise spontaneously in some prostate cancer patients, persist during immunization, and can prevent the detection of Ag-specific effector responses by an IL-35-dependent mechanism.

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