Distinct Dynamics of Migratory Response to PD-1 and CTLA-4 Blockade Reveals New Mechanistic Insights for Potential T-Cell Reinvigoration following Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Fateme Safaeifard, Bahram Goliaei, Amir R. Aref, Mohammad Hadi Foroughmand-Araabi, Sama Goliaei, Jochen Lorch, Russell W. Jenkins, David A. Barbie, Seyed Peyman Shariatpanahi*, Curzio Rüegg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), two clinically relevant targets for the immunotherapy of cancer, are negative regulators of T-cell activation and migration. Optimizing the therapeutic response to CTLA-4 and PD-1 blockade calls for a more comprehensive insight into the coordinated function of these immune regulators. Mathematical modeling can be used to elucidate nonlinear tumor–immune interactions and highlight the underlying mechanisms to tackle the problem. Here, we investigated and statistically characterized the dynamics of T-cell migration as a measure of the functional response to these pathways. We used a previously developed three-dimensional organotypic culture of patient-derived tumor spheroids treated with anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies for this purpose. Experiment-based dynamical modeling revealed the delayed kinetics of PD-1 activation, which originates from the distinct characteristics of PD-1 and CTLA-4 regulation, and followed through with the modification of their contributions to immune modulation. The simulation results show good agreement with the tumor cell reduction and active immune cell count in each experiment. Our findings demonstrate that while PD-1 activation provokes a more exhaustive intracellular cascade within a mature tumor environment, the time-delayed kinetics of PD-1 activation outweighs its preeminence at the individual cell level and consequently confers a functional dominance to the CTLA-4 checkpoint. The proposed model explains the distinct immunostimulatory pattern of PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade based on mechanisms involved in the regulation of their expression and may be useful for planning effective treatment schemes targeting PD-1 and CTLA-4 functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3534
JournalCells
Volume11
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • T-cell migration
  • delayed dynamics
  • heterogeneous random walks
  • immune checkpoint blockade
  • organotypic tumor culture
  • tumor–immune interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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