Differential effects of PD-L1 versus PD-1 blockade on myeloid inflammation in human cancer

Noffar Bar, Federica Costa, Rituparna Das, Alyssa Duffy, Mehmet Samur, Samuel McCachren, Scott N. Gettinger, Natalia Neparidze, Terri L. Parker, Jithendra Kini Bailur, Katherine Pendleton, Richa Bajpai, Lin Zhang, Mina L. Xu, Tara Anderson, Nicola Giuliani, Ajay Nooka, Hearn J. Cho, Aparna Raval, Mala ShanmugamKavita M. Dhodapkar, Madhav V. Dhodapkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. PD-1 and PD-L1 have been studied interchangeably in the clinic as checkpoints to reinvigorate T cells in diverse tumor types. Data for biologic effects of checkpoint blockade in human premalignancy are limited. METHODS. We analyzed the immunologic effects of PD-L1 blockade in a clinical trial of atezolizumab in patients with asymptomatic multiple myeloma (AMM), a precursor to clinical malignancy. Genomic signatures of PD-L1 blockade in purified monocytes and T cells in vivo were also compared with those following PD-1 blockade in lung cancer patients. Effects of PD-L1 blockade on monocyte-derived DCs were analyzed to better understand its effects on myeloid antigen-presenting cells. RESULTS. In contrast to anti–PD-1 therapy, anti–PD-L1 therapy led to a distinct inflammatory signature in CD14+ monocytes and increase in myeloid-derived cytokines (e.g., IL-18) in vivo. Treatment of AMM patients with atezolizumab led to rapid activation and expansion of circulating myeloid cells, which persisted in the BM. Blockade of PD-L1 on purified monocyte-derived DCs led to rapid inflammasome activation and synergized with CD40L-driven DC maturation, leading to greater antigen-specific T cell expansion. CONCLUSION. These data show that PD-L1 blockade leads to distinct systemic immunologic effects compared with PD-1 blockade in vivo in humans, particularly manifest as rapid myeloid activation. These findings also suggest an additional role for PD-L1 as a checkpoint for regulating inflammatory phenotype of myeloid cells and antigen presentation in DCs, which may be harnessed to improve PD-L1–based combination therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere129353
JournalJCI insight
Issue number12
StatePublished - 18 Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential effects of PD-L1 versus PD-1 blockade on myeloid inflammation in human cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this