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J Clin Invest. 2011 Oct;121(10):3846-59. doi: 10.1172/JCI44952. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

IL-6 trans-signaling licenses mouse and human tumor microvascular gateways for trafficking of cytotoxic T cells.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA.

Abstract

Immune cells are key regulators of neoplastic progression, which is often mediated through their release of cytokines. Inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 exert tumor-promoting activities by driving growth and survival of neoplastic cells. However, whether these cytokines also have a role in recruiting mediators of adaptive anticancer immunity has not been investigated. Here, we report that homeostatic trafficking of tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells across microvascular checkpoints is limited in tumors despite the presence of inflammatory cytokines. Intravital imaging in tumor-bearing mice revealed that systemic thermal therapy (core temperature elevated to 39.5°C ± 0.5°C for 6 hours) activated an IL-6 trans-signaling program in the tumor blood vessels that modified the vasculature such that it could support enhanced trafficking of CD8+ effector/memory T cells (Tems) into tumors. A concomitant decrease in tumor infiltration by Tregs during systemic thermal therapy resulted in substantial enhancement of Tem/Treg ratios. Mechanistically, IL-6 produced by nonhematopoietic stromal cells acted cooperatively with soluble IL-6 receptor-α and thermally induced gp130 to promote E/P-selectin- and ICAM-1-dependent extravasation of cytotoxic T cells in tumors. Parallel increases in vascular adhesion were induced by IL-6/soluble IL-6 receptor-α fusion protein in mouse tumors and patient tumor explants. Finally, a causal link was established between IL-6-dependent licensing of tumor vessels for Tem trafficking and apoptosis of tumor targets. These findings suggest that the unique IL-6-rich tumor microenvironment can be exploited to create a therapeutic window to boost T cell-mediated antitumor immunity and immunotherapy.

PMID:
21926464
PMCID:
PMC3195455
DOI:
10.1172/JCI44952
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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