Tumor infiltration by immunosuppressive myeloid cells, such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), causes resistance to immunotherapy. Semaphorin4D, originally characterized for its axonal guidance properties, also contributes to endothelial cell migration and survival and modulates global immune cytokine profiles and myeloid cell polarization within the tumor microenvironment. Here, we show how a therapeutic murine Sema4D mAb improves responses to immune-checkpoint blockade (ICB) in two murine carcinoma models. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with Sema4D mAb abrogated Ly6G hi PMN-MDSC recruitment through reducing MAPK-dependent chemokine production by tumor cells in Murine oral cancer-1 (MOC1) tumors. PMN-MDSC suppressive capacity was reduced through inhibition of Sema4D-driven arginase expression. These changes led to enhanced tumor infiltration by CD8 þ TIL and activation of tumor-draining lymph node T lymphocytes in response to tumor antigen. Sema4D mAb in combination with either CTLA-4 or PD-1 blockade enhanced rejection of tumors or tumor growth delay, resulting in prolonged survival with either treatment. This function of Sema4D mAb provides a rationale for its evaluation in combination with ICB to treat tumors with immunosuppressive myeloid infiltration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research