Long-distance modulation of bystander tumor cells by CD8<sup>+</sup> T cell-secreted IFNγ.


T cell-secreted IFNγ can exert pleiotropic effects on tumor cells that include induction of immune checkpoints and antigen presentation machinery components, and inhibition of cell growth. Despite its role as key effector molecule, little is known about the spatiotemporal spreading of IFNγ secreted by activated CD8+ T cells within the tumor environment. Using multiday intravital imaging, we demonstrate that T cell recognition of a minor fraction of tumor cells leads to sensing of IFNγ by a large part of the tumor mass. Furthermore, imaging of tumors in which antigen-positive and -negative tumor cells are separated in space reveals spreading of the IFNγ response, reaching distances of >800 µm. Notably, long-range sensing of IFNγ can modify tumor behavior, as both shown by induction of PD-L1 expression and inhibition of tumor growth. Collectively, these data reveal how, through IFNγ, CD8+ T cells modulate the behavior of remote tumor cells, including antigen-loss variants.

More about this publication

Nature cancer
  • Volume 1
  • Issue nr. 3
  • Pages 291-301
  • Publication date 01-03-2020

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