Human Microbial Transplant Restores T Cell Cytotoxicity and Anti-Tumor Response to PD-L1 Blockade in Gnotobiotic Mice
Joshua N. Borgerding,
Graham J Britton,
Samuel R Rose,
Alice O Kamphorst,
Jeremiah J Faith
Posted 07 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.07.242040
Posted 07 Aug 2020
Recent studies demonstrate that gut microbiota regulate tumor response to immune checkpoint blockade. Still, the mechanisms by which microbiota control tumor response to immunotherapy remain unclear. We colonized germ-free mice with cultured human-derived microbiota prior to tumor inoculation. While no human donor microbiota altered tumor growth, two distinct gut microbiota inhibited tumor response to anti-PD-L1. Colonization with non-responder microbiota led to reduced tumor immune cell infiltration and modified antigen presenting cell phenotype. RNA sequencing of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells revealed enrichment for stem cell-like genes in non-responders and reduced effector-like expression conferring cytotoxic potential. Antibiotic depletion and microbiota transplant restored anti-PD-L1 response in non-responders, with expansion of effector cells and cytotoxicity. Concomitant blockade of TNFα similarly improved response to anti-PD-L1 and increased cytotoxicity. These results demonstrate inhibitory roles for the microbiota in checkpoint blockade and reveal the potential for microbiota transplant and TNF blockade to overcome microbiota-mediated resistance. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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