Interleukin-37 improves T-cell-mediated immunity and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in aged backgrounds

Jamie A G Hamilton, Miyoung Y Lee, Rae Hunter, Raira S Ank, Jamie Y Story, Ganesh Talekar, Talia Sisroe, Dov B Ballak, Andrew Fedanov, Christopher C Porter, Elan Z Eisenmesser, Charles A Dinarello, Sunil S Raikar, James DeGregori, Curtis J Henry
Aging Cell 2021 January 22, : e13309
Aging-associated declines in innate and adaptive immune responses are well documented and pose a risk for the growing aging population, which is predicted to comprise greater than 40 percent of the world's population by 2050. Efforts have been made to improve immunity in aged populations; however, safe and effective protocols to accomplish this goal have not been universally established. Aging-associated chronic inflammation is postulated to compromise immunity in aged mice and humans. Interleukin-37 (IL-37) is a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine, and we present data demonstrating that IL-37 gene expression levels in human monocytes significantly decline with age. Furthermore, we demonstrate that transgenic expression of interleukin-37 (IL-37) in aged mice reduces or prevents aging-associated chronic inflammation, splenomegaly, and accumulation of myeloid cells (macrophages and dendritic cells) in the bone marrow and spleen. Additionally, we show that IL-37 expression decreases the surface expression of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and augments cytokine production from aged T-cells. Improved T-cell function coincided with a youthful restoration of Pdcd1, Lat, and Stat4 gene expression levels in CD4+ T-cells and Lat in CD8+ T-cells when aged mice were treated with recombinant IL-37 (rIL-37) but not control immunoglobin (Control Ig). Importantly, IL-37-mediated rejuvenation of aged endogenous T-cells was also observed in aged chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells, where improved function significantly extended the survival of mice transplanted with leukemia cells. Collectively, these data demonstrate the potency of IL-37 in boosting the function of aged T-cells and highlight its therapeutic potential to overcome aging-associated immunosenescence.

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