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Effet des interactions homéostatiques entre cellules dendritiques, lymphocytes effecteurs et régulateurs sur les réponses immunitaires anti-tumorales : étude du rôle de différentes cellules dendritiques in vivo chez la souris, et étude algorithmique des relations complexes entre transcriptome tumoral, populations immunitaires et survie in silico chez les patients

Abstract : The cancer, one of the main causes of death in the world, can appear in almost any type of tissue, and is characterized by an anarchic proliferation of cells and the establishment of a tolerogenic immune response favouring the tumour growth, leading to low efficiency of drug interventions. Dendritic cells (DCs), real sentinels of the body, seem to play a role in the establishment of both efficient anti-tumoral immune response and tolerance against cancer. Nevertheless, the role of the different DCs subtypes in the tumoral development stays poorly known. During this thesis, I studied different dendritic and lymphocytic cellular actors, their relationships and their involvement in the immune response or tolerance to tumours. During the first part of my thesis, I studied the effect of the artificial modulation of DCs homeostasis on other immune cells and also on anti-tumoral response in vivo in mice. I proved the existence of a paradoxical role of the Flt3-L (FL) cytokine - a growth factor essential to the differentiation and the homeostasis of classical/conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) - on the B16 melanoma growth. In fact, its overexpression or absence both lead to a better control of the tumoral development, accompanied by an increased survival of mice. FL deficiency induces, together with the loss of both cDCs and pDCs, a drastic reduction of regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) protecting the tumour, and also a global reinforcement of the anti-tumoral adaptive immune response via helper T lymphocytes. Its overexpression induces an increase of the numbers of cDCs and pDCs, and despite a raised presence of Tregs, also a strong intra-tumoral recruitment of activated natural killer (NK) cells, one of the major actors of the anti-tumoral innate response. The study of cDCs-deficient mice allowed me to demonstrate the existence of a DCs-mediated control of the NK cells homeostasis. Furthermore, the combination of both FL treatment and antibody-mediated Tregs depletion has an exacerbated therapeutic effect in mice. Next, using bioinformatic analysis of transcriptomes of 35 different cancer types, I showed that the FL paradox also exists in humans, at least for some cancers, and that gene signatures specific of DCs subsets can be correlated in a paradoxical, beneficial or detrimental manner to survival. In parallel, I evaluated the presence of several immune cells in the tumour infiltrate and their effects on patients survival. Thanks to R language algorithms I developed, I was able to analyse for each studied cancer the immune cell populations-specific gene signatures and the most involved or dysregulated genes and biological functions (pathways) in the control of the 5 years survival of patients. My results indicate that the immune cells of the tumour infiltrate can play, according to the cancer, a beneficial or deleterious role. This immune infiltrate and the associated pathways were generally of bad prognosis in cancers of immune-privileged organs, but on the other hand were beneficial in skin and breast cancers. For each cancer type, I determined the individual impact on survival of several types of immune cells and established correlations between involved pathways and some of these cell populations. Altogether, the results allow to better understand the complex relationships between each cancer and the associated immune infiltrate, and will later lead to help the development of immunotherapeutic strategies more adapted to a given tumour environment, by targeting the immune populations that could really impact the survival of patients.
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Paul Régnier. Effet des interactions homéostatiques entre cellules dendritiques, lymphocytes effecteurs et régulateurs sur les réponses immunitaires anti-tumorales : étude du rôle de différentes cellules dendritiques in vivo chez la souris, et étude algorithmique des relations complexes entre transcriptome tumoral, populations immunitaires et survie in silico chez les patients. Immunologie. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCB133⟩. ⟨tel-03411100⟩

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