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Cancer Res. 2019 Jan 1;79(1):159-170. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-0981. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

Activation of B-1 Cells Promotes Tumor Cell Killing in the Peritoneal Cavity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


: Metastatic cancer involving spread to the peritoneal cavity is referred to as peritoneal carcinomatosis and has a very poor prognosis. Activating the antitumor immune response in the characteristically immune-suppressive peritoneal environment presents a potential strategy to treat this disease. In this study, we show that a toll-like receptor (TLR) and C-type lectin receptor (CLR) agonist pairing of monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) and trehalose-6,6'-dicorynomycolate (TDCM) effectively inhibits tumor growth and ascites development in a mouse model of aggressive mammary cancer-induced peritoneal carcinomatosis. MPL/TDCM treatment similarly inhibited peritoneal EL4 tumor growth and ascites development. These effects were not observed in mice lacking B cells or mice lacking CD19, which are deficient in B-1a cells, an innate-like B-cell population enriched in the peritoneal cavity. Remarkably, adoptive transfer of B-1a cells, but not splenic B cells from WT mice, restored MPL/TDCM-induced protection in mice with B-cell defects. Treatment induced B-1 cells to rapidly produce high levels of natural IgM reactive against tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens. Consistent with this, we found significant deposition of IgM and C3 on peritoneal tumor cells as early as 5 days post-treatment. Mice unable to secrete IgM or complement component C4 were not protected by MPL/TDCM treatment, indicating tumor killing was mediated by activation of the classical complement pathway. Collectively, our findings reveal an unsuspected role for B-1 cell-produced natural IgM in providing protection against tumor growth in the peritoneal cavity, thereby highlighting potential opportunities to develop novel therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of peritoneal metastases. SIGNIFICANCE: This work identifies a critical antitumor role for innate-like B cells localized within the peritoneal cavity and demonstrates a novel strategy to activate their tumor-killing potential.See related commentary by Tripodo, p. 5.

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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