Requirement for innate immunity and CD90 NK1.1 lymphocytes to treat established melanoma with chemo-immunotherapy

Marina Moskalenko, Michael Pan, Yichun Fu, Ellen H. De Moll, Daigo Hashimoto, Arthur Mortha, Marylene Leboeuf, Padmini Jayaraman, Sebastian Bernardo, Andrew G. Sikora, Jedd Wolchok, Nina Bhardwaj, Miriam Merad, Yvonne Saenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We sought to define cellular immune mechanisms of synergy between tumor-antigen-targeted monoclonal antibodies and chemotherapy. Established B16 melanoma in mice was treated with cytotoxic doses of cyclophosphamide in combination with an antibody targeting tyrosinase-related protein 1 (aTRP1), a native melanoma differentiation antigen. We find that Fc g receptors are required for efficacy, showing that antitumor activity of combination therapy is immune mediated. Rag1-/- mice deficient in adaptive immunity are able to clear tumors, and thus innate immunity is sufficient for efficacy. Furthermore, previously treated wild-type mice are not significantly protected against tumor reinduction, as compared with mice inoculated with irradiated B16 alone, consistent with a primarily innate immune mechanism of action of chemoimmunotherapy. In contrast, mice deficient in both classical natural killer (NK) lymphocytes and nonclassical innate lymphocytes (ILC) due to deletion of the IL2 receptor common gamma chain IL2γc-/-) are refractory to chemo-immunotherapy. Classical NK lymphocytes are not critical for treatment, as depletion of NK1.1+ cells does not impair antitumor effect. Depletion of CD90+NK1.1- lymphocytes, however, both diminishes therapeutic benefit and decreases accumulation of macrophages within the tumor. Tumor clearance during combination chemo-immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies against native antigen is mediated by the innate immune system. We highlight a novel potential role for CD90+NK1.1-ILCs in chemo-immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


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