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Impact des conditionnements lymphopéniques et de l’environnement métabolique sur le devenir des cellules T greffées

Abstract : Anti-tumor therapies have improved significantly over the decade. However, the currently used treatments have important limitations, notably for metastatic cancers, and the development of new approaches is therefore a high priority. Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) represents an innovative strategy that has shown much promise. This therapy is based on the infusion of tumor-specific T cells, which have been manipulated and expanded ex vivo, into patients who have been rendered lymphopenic by chemotherapy and/or irradiation. It is interesting to note that while lymphodepletion is attained by the vast majority of conditioning regimens, the effects of these protocols on the host environment and potentially, on the destiny of adoptively-transferred T cells had not been elucidated prior to the studies which we initiated. Using a murine model, we found that the fate of adoptively-transferred T cells differs markedly in mice rendered lymphopenic by sub-lethal irradiation as compared to a busulfan/cyclophosphamide (Bu/Cy) chemotherapy regimen. Irradiation-mediated lymphopenia resulted in a skewed IL-7-dependent proliferation of donor CD8+ T cells, whereas Bu/Cy treatment led to an increased IL-7-independent, rapid CD4+ T cell proliferation. These alterations in T cell proliferation were associated with striking changes in the host microenvironment. More specifically, we demonstrated that the proportion and localization of different dendritic cell (DC) subsets in lymphoid organs were differentially affected by the type of conditioning. Furthermore, we found that these DC controlled the rapid donor CD4+ T cell division detected in Bu/Cy-treated mice as depletion of CD11c+ DC inhibited this proliferation. Altogether, our studies demonstrate that lymphopenic regimens generate distinct host environments which modulate the fate of adoptively-transferred T cells.Durind my PhD, we also investigated an original and novel aspect of the microenvironement by studying the potential role of nutrients as metabolic regulators of T cell effector function. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the plasma and contributes to the bioenergetic and biosynthetic requirements of proliferating T cells. Here, we demonstrated that activation of CD4+ T cells under glutamine-deprived conditions results in a delayed mTOR activation with reduced early ATP production and decreased proliferation. Moreover, these conditions resulted in the conversion of naïve CD4+ T cells into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). This de novo Treg differentiation occurred even under Th1-polarizing conditions and was TGFβ-dependent. Interestingly, glutamine deprivation did not inhibit Th2 differentiation. Importantly, these converted Foxp3+ T cells showed enhanced in vivo persistence and were highly suppressive, completely protecting Rag-deficient mice from the development of autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease as efficiently as natural-occuring Tregs. Thus, our data reveal the external metabolic environment to be a key regulator of a CD4 T lymphocyte's differentiation. Altogether, the data generated during my PhD provide new insights into the identification of parameters that can potentially alter the survival and reactivity of adoptively-transferred T cells.
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Dorota Klysz. Impact des conditionnements lymphopéniques et de l’environnement métabolique sur le devenir des cellules T greffées. Immunité adaptative. Université Montpellier II - Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014MON20184⟩. ⟨tel-01898676⟩

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