Immunotherapeutic strategies are increasingly important in neuro-oncology, and the elucidation of escape mechanisms that lead to treatment resistance is crucial. We investigated the impact of immune pressure on the clonal dynamics and immune escape signature by comparing glioma growth in immunocompetent versus immunodeficient mice. Glioma-bearing WT and Pd-1–/– mice survived significantly longer than immunodeficient Pfp–/– Rag2–/– mice. While tumors in Pfp–/– Rag2–/– mice were highly polyclonal, immunoedited tumors in WT and Pd-1–/– mice displayed reduced clonality with emergence of immune escape clones. Tumor cells in WT mice were distinguished by an IFN-γ–mediated response signature with upregulation of genes involved in immunosuppression. Tumor-infiltrating stromal cells, which include macrophages/microglia, contributed even more strongly to the immunosuppressive signature than the actual tumor cells. The identified murine immune escape signature was reflected in human patients and correlated with poor survival. In conclusion, immune pressure profoundly shapes the clonal composition and gene regulation in malignant gliomas.
Cecile L. Maire, Malte Mohme, Michael Bockmayr, Krystian D. Fita, Kristoffer Riecken, Daniela Börnigen, Malik Alawi, Antonio Failla, Katharina Kolbe, Svenja Zapf, Mareike Holz, Katrin Neumann, Lasse Dührsen, Tobias Lange, Boris Fehse, Manfred Westphal, Katrin Lamszus