- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the proliferation of immature myeloid lineage blasts. Due to its heterogeneity and to the high rate of acquired drug resistance and relapse, new treatment strategies are needed. Here, we demonstrate that IFNγ promotes AML blasts to act as effector cells within the context of antibody therapy. Treatment with IFNγ drove AML blasts toward a more differentiated state, wherein they showed increased expression of the M1-related markers HLA-DR and CD86, as well as of FcγRI, which mediates effector responses to therapeutic antibodies.
- Nurse-like cells (NLCs) play a central role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) because they promote the survival and proliferation of CLL cells. NLCs are derived from the monocyte lineage and are driven toward their phenotype via contact-dependent and -independent signals from CLL cells. Because of the central role of NLCs in promoting disease, new strategies to eliminate or reprogram them are needed. Successful reprogramming may be of extra benefit because NLCs express Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) and thus could act as effector cells within the context of antibody therapy.
- Monocytes and macrophages are critical for the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapy. Responses to antibody-coated tumor cells are largely mediated by Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), which become activated upon binding to immune complexes. FcγRIIb is an inhibitory FcγR that negatively regulates these responses, and it is expressed on monocytes and macrophages. Therefore, deletion or down-regulation of this receptor may substantially enhance therapeutic outcomes. Here we screened a panel of Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists and found that those selective for TLR4 and TLR8 could significantly down-regulate the expression of FcγRIIb.
- The irreversible Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor ibrutinib has shown efficacy against B-cell tumors such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Fcγ receptors (FcγR) on immune cells such as macrophages play an important role in tumor-specific antibody-mediated immune responses, but many such responses involve Btk. Here we tested the effects of ibrutinib on FcγR-mediated activities in monocytes. We found that ibrutinib did not affect monocyte FcγR-mediated phagocytosis, even at concentrations higher than those achieved physiologically, but suppressed FcγR-mediated cytokine production.