Myeloid Expression of Adenosine A(2A) Receptor Suppresses T and NK Cell Responses in the Solid Tumor Microenvironment

Cekic C., Day Y., Sag D., Linden J.

CANCER RESEARCH, vol.74, no.24, pp.7250-7259, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 74 Issue: 24
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1158/0008-5472.can-13-3583
  • Journal Name: CANCER RESEARCH
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.7250-7259
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


High concentrations of adenosine in tumor microenvironments inhibit antitumor cytotoxic lymphocyte responses. Although T cells express inhibitory adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)R) that suppress their activation and inhibit immune killing of tumors, a role for myeloid cell A(2A)Rs in suppressing the immune response to tumors has yet to be investigated. In this study, we show that the growth of transplanted syngeneic B16F10 melanoma or Lewis lung carcinoma cells is slowed in Adora2a(f/f)-LysMCre(+/-) mice, which selectively lack myeloid A(2A)Rs. Reduced melanoma growth is associated with significant increases in MHCII and IL12 expression in tumor-associated macrophages and with >90% reductions in IL10 expression in tumorassociated macrophages, dendritic cells (DC), and Ly6C(+) or Ly6G(+) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). Myeloid deletion of A(2A)Rs significantly increases CD44 expression on tumor-associated T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells or NK cells in tumor-bearing mice indicates that both cell types initially contribute to slowing melanoma growth in mice lacking myeloid A(2A) receptors, but tumor suppression mediated by CD8(+) T cells is more persistent. Myeloid-selective A(2A)R deletion significantly reduces lung metastasis of melanomas that express luciferase (for in vivo tracking) and ovalbumin (as a model antigen). Reduced metastasis is associated with increased numbers and activation of NK cells and antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in lung infiltrates. Overall, the findings indicate that myeloid cell A(2A)Rs have direct myelosuppressive effects that indirectly contribute to the suppression of T cells and NK cells in primary and metastatic tumor microenvironments. The results indicate that tumor-associated myeloid cells, including macrophages, DCs, and MDSCs all express immunosuppressive A(2A)Rs that are potential targets of adenosine receptor blockers to enhance immune killing of tumors.