Seven different anti-PD-1 and PD-L1 mAbs are now widely used in the United States to treat a variety of cancer types, but no clinical trials have compared them directly. Furthermore, because many of these Abs do not cross-react between mouse and human proteins, no preclinical models exist in which to consider these types of questions. Thus, we produced humanized PD-1 and PD-L1 mice in which the extracellular domains of both mouse PD-1 and PD-L1 were replaced with the corresponding human sequences. Using this new model, we sought to compare the strength of the immune response generated by Food and Drug Administration-approved Abs. To do this, we performed an in vivo T cell priming assay in which anti-PD-1/L1 therapies were given at the time of T cell priming against surrogate tumor Ag (OVA), followed by subsequent B16-OVA tumor challenge. Surprisingly, both control and Ab-treated mice formed an equally robust OVA-specific T cell response at the time of priming. Despite this, anti-PD-1/L1-treated mice exhibited significantly better tumor rejection versus controls, with avelumab generating the best protection. To determine what could be mediating this, we identified the increased production of CX3CR1+PD-1+CD8+ cytotoxic T cells in the avelumab-treated mice, the same phenotype of effector T cells known to increase in clinical responders to PD-1/L1 therapy. Thus, our model permits the direct comparison of Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-PD-1/L1 mAbs and further correlates successful tumor rejection with the level of CX3CR1+PD-1+CD8 + T cells, making this model a critical tool for optimizing and better utilizing anti-PD-1/L1 therapeutics. ImmunoHorizons, 2023, 7: 125-139.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy