Modulation of immune checkpoint molecule expression in mantle cell lymphoma.

Harrington BK, Wheeler E, Hornbuckle K, Y Shana'ah A, Youssef Y, Smith L, Hassan Ii Q, Klamer B, Zhang X, Long M, Baiocchi RA, Maddocks K, Johnson AJ, Byrd JC, Alinari L
Leuk Lymphoma in press 1-10 03/01/2019


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive B-cell malignancy for which novel therapeutics with improved efficacy are greatly needed. To provide support for clinical immune checkpoint blockade, we comprehensively evaluated the expression of therapeutically targetable immune checkpoint molecules on primary MCL cells. MCL cells showed constitutive expression of Programmed Death 1 (PD-1) and Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1), variable CD200, absent PD-L2, Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 (LAG-3), and Cytotoxic T-cell Associated Protein 4 (CTLA-4). Effector cells from MCL patients expressed PD-1. Co-culture of MCL cells with T-cells induced PD-L1 surface expression, a phenomenon regulated by IFNγ and CD40:CD40L interaction. Induction of PD-L1 was attenuated by concurrent treatment with ibrutinib or duvelisib, suggesting BTK and PI3K are important mediators of PD-L1 expression. Overall, our data provide further insight into the expression of checkpoint molecules in MCL and support the use of PD-L1 blocking antibodies in MCL patients.

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