Ligation of programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) in the tumor microenvironment is known to inhibit effective adaptive antitumor immunity. Blockade of PD-1 in humans has resulted in impressive, durable regression responses in select tumor types. However, durable responses have been elusive in ovarian cancer patients. PD-1 was recently shown to be expressed on and thereby impair the functions of tumor-infiltrating murine and human myeloid dendritic cells (TIDC) in ovarian cancer. In the present work, we characterize the regulation of PD-1 expression and the effects of PD-1 blockade on TIDC. Treatment of TIDC and bone marrow–derived dendritic cells (DC) with IL10 led to increased PD-1 expression. Both groups of DCs also responded to PD-1 blockade by increasing production of IL10. Similarly, treatment of ovarian tumor–bearing mice with PD-1 blocking antibody resulted in an increase in IL10 levels in both serum and ascites. While PD-1 blockade or IL10 neutralization as monotherapies were inefficient, combination of these two led to improved survival and delayed tumor growth; this was accompanied by augmented antitumor T- and B-cell responses and decreased infiltration of immunosuppressive MDSC. Taken together, our findings implicate compensatory release of IL10 as one of the adaptive resistance mechanisms that undermine the efficacy of anti–PD-1 (or anti–PD-L1) monotherapies and prompt further studies aimed at identifying such resistance mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research