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Caractérisation des cellules dendritiques cDC1 et de leur synthèse d'Interféron de type III dans l’immunité antitumorale

Abstract : Dendritic cells (DCs) represent a promising target for the development of new immunotherapies because of their central role in the initiation and the control of immunity. The rare cDC1 population is under considerable scrutiny because their murine counterparts called CD8α+ DCs are essential for cross-presentation to CD8+ T cells, antitumor immunity and response to immunotherapies. In contrast, the role of human cDC1 in cancer has not been investigated as extensively as in mice. They were identified in several tumors and transcriptomic analyses revealed their association with a favorable patient outcome. They also represent a major source of type III interferon (IFN-III), also called IFN-λ, playing a crucial role in viral infections, similarly to IFN-I that share the same signaling pathway. Its antitumor activity was also reported in mouse models, therefore raising questions regarding the use of IFN-IIl in clinical oncology. We believe that understanding the underlying mechanisms of cDC1 favorable prognostic impact and the role of IFN-III in antitumor immunity will be central to design new therapeutic approaches. Here, we demonstrated the infiltration of human primary breast and ovarian tumors by several DC populations and the enrichment of cDC1 compared with patient blood. We also showed for the first time close contacts between cDC1 and T cells in breast tumors. An in silico approach using MCPcouter on the TCGA data sets revealed that cDC1 represented the only DC subset associated with a prolonged overall survival in the majority of solid tumors. Interestingly, type I/III signature was strongly enriched in tumors highly infiltrated only with cDC1. Furthermore, we observed by feature intracytoplasmic flow cytometry analysis a spontaneous production of IFN-λ1 that is restricted to cDC1 in the absence of any ex vivo stimulation in one third of tumors. This result clearly indicates that IFN-λ1 production is a distinct of cDC1 compared with other DC subsets, even in a human tumor context. Notably, a high expression level of genes coding for IFN-III or its receptor was correlated with an increased relapse-free survival in breast cancer. We confirmed the presence of the IFN-λ1 protein in more than 50% of tumors and observed its abundancy compared with other IFN subtypes. IFN-λ1 was strongly correlated with IL-12p40, CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11, CX3CL1 and TNF-α. These results raised the hypothesis that IFN-λ1, produced by cDC1 in the TME, could be associated with the production of cytokines and chemokines involved in the recruitment and activation of cytotoxic lymphocytes (NK cells and CD8+ T cells). Our study provides detailed information about the DC compartment infiltrating human breast and ovarian tumors, revealing their potential implication in the antitumor immunity. By focusing on the pathways associated with each DC subset, our findings shed new light on the link between DC population called cDC1 and IFN-I/III signature in tumors. Our clear demonstration of IFN-III production by cDC1 and of its positive impact on the prognosis of cancer patients provides valuable evidences to support the development of new therapeutic strategies targeting cDC1 to amplify the response to immunotherapies, especially in breast cancer
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Margaux Hubert. Caractérisation des cellules dendritiques cDC1 et de leur synthèse d'Interféron de type III dans l’immunité antitumorale. Immunologie. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE1350⟩. ⟨tel-02320658⟩

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