Blockade of B7-H1 or B7-DC induces an anti-tumor effect in a mouse pancreatic cancer model

Keisuke Okudaira, Ryota Hokari, Yoshikazu Tsuzuki, Yoshikiyo Okada, Shunsuke Komoto, Chikako Watanabe, Chie Kurihara, Atsushi Kawaguchi, Shigeaki Nagao, Miyuki Azuma, Hideo Yagita, Soichiro Miura
International Journal of Oncology 2009, 35 (4): 741-9
The negative signal provided by interactions of programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligands, B7-H1 and B7-DC, has been suggested to play an important role in tumor evasion from host immunity. Pancreas cancer patients with B7-H1 expression have a poor prognosis. B7-H1 blocking has been shown to inhibit the development of a subcutaneous tumor from a pancreas cancer cell line. In this study, we investigated the effects of B7-DC as well as B7-H1 blockade in vivo in a murine pancreatic cancer model. Pancreatic cancer cells (Panc02) were inoculated in the pancreas of C57BL/6 mice. Five weeks later, tumor sizes were measured and the mice bearing appropriate size of tumors received the following treatments. Blocking antibodies against B7-H1 or B7-DC (200 microg) were administered 3 times/week for 3 weeks. Cells infiltrating the tumors were characterized by immunohistochemistry. Effects of antibodies on cytokine and FoxP3 expression were examined by quantitative RT-PCR. In vitro cultured Panc02 cells expressed B7-H1 upon IFN-gamma stimulation. However, expression of B7-H1 and B7-DC was found mainly on CD45-positive infiltrating cells and rarely on cancer cells in vivo. Treatment with both antibodies significantly decreased tumor growth in vivo. B7-DC blockade decreased the levels of IL-10 and FoxP3, suggesting that regulatory systems are mainly inhibited at the tumor site. B7-H1 blockade increased the levels of IFN-gamma and FoxP3. Collectively, blocking of B7-H1 or B7-DC efficiently induced regression of pre-established pancreatic cancers by up-regulating IFN-gamma production and down-regulating IL-10 production at the tumor site.

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