The adenosine 2a receptor and TIM3 directly inhibit killing of tumor cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes through interference with cytoskeletal polarization

Christoph Wuelfing*, David J Morgan*, Grace L Edmunds, Carissa C W Wong, Hanin I A Alamir, Stephen Cross, Emily J Milodowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Tumors generate an immune-suppressive environment that prevents effective killing of tumor cells by CD8+ cytotoxic T cells (CTL). It remains largely unclear upon which cell type and at which stage of the anti-tumor response mediators of suppression act. We have combined an in vivo tumor model with a matching in vitro reconstruction of the tumor microenvironment based on tumor spheroids to identify suppressors of anti-tumor immunity that directly act on interaction between CTL and tumor cells and to determine mechanisms of action. An adenosine 2a receptor antagonist, as enhanced by blockade of TIM3, slowed tumor growth in vivo. Engagement of the adenosine 2a receptor and TIM3 reduced tumor cell killing in spheroids, impaired CTL cytoskeletal polarization ex vivo and in vitro and inhibited CTL infiltration into tumors and spheroids. With this focus on CTL killing, blocking A2aR and TIM3 complements therapies that enhance T cell priming, e.g. anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA-4.
Original languageEnglish
JournalbioRxiv
DOIs
Publication statusSubmitted - 28 May 2021

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