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Cell Death Dis. 2014 Nov 6;5:e1507. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.451.

Tumor-induced senescent T cells promote the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors by human monocytes/macrophages through a mechanism that involves Tim-3 and CD40L.

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Centro de Investigaciones en Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunología (CIBICI-CONICET), Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Haya de la Torre y Medina Allende, Ciudad Universitaria, Córdoba, Argentina.
Laboratorio de Trombosis Experimental, Instituto de Medicina Experimental (IMEX), Academia Nacional de Medicina-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Cleveland Clinic, Department of Immunology and Plastic Surgery, Head and Neck and Taussig Institutes, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Solid tumors are infiltrated by immune cells where macrophages and senescent T cells are highly represented. Within the tumor microenvironment, a cross-talk between the infiltrating cells may occur conditioning the characteristic of the in situ immune response. Our previous work showed that tumors induce senescence of T cells, which are powerful suppressors of lympho-proliferation. In this study, we report that Tumor-Induced Senescent (TIS)-T cells may also modulate monocyte activation. To gain insight into this interaction, CD4+ or CD8+TIS-T or control-T cells were co-incubated with autologous monocytes under inflammatory conditions. After co-culture with CD4+ or CD8+TIS-T cells, CD14+ monocytes/macrophages (Mo/Ma) exhibit a higher expression of CD16+ cells and a reduced expression of CD206. These Mo/Ma produce nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species; however, TIS-T cells do not modify phagocyte capacity of Mo/Ma. TIS-T modulated-Mo/Ma show a higher production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1β and IL-6) and angiogenic factors (MMP-9, VEGF-A and IL-8) and a lower IL-10 and IP-10 secretion than monocytes co-cultured with controls. The mediator(s) present in the supernatant of TIS-T cell/monocyte-macrophage co-cultures promote(s) tubulogenesis and tumor-cell survival. Monocyte-modulation induced by TIS-T cells requires cell-to-cell contact. Although CD4+ shows different behavior from CD8+TIS-T cells, blocking mAbs against T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin protein 3 and CD40 ligand reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors production, indicating that these molecules are involved in monocyte/macrophage modulation by TIS-T cells. Our results revealed a novel role for TIS-T cells in human monocyte/macrophage modulation, which may have deleterious consequences for tumor progression. This modulation should be considered to best tailor the immunotherapy against cancer.

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