EOMES and IL-10 regulate antitumor activity of T regulatory type 1 CD4 + T cells in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Philipp M Roessner, Laura Llaó Cid, Ekaterina Lupar, Tobias Roider, Marie Bordas, Christoph SCHIFFLERS, Lavinia Arseni, Ann-Christin Gaupel, Fabian Kilpert, Marit Krötschel, Sebastian J. Arnold, Leopold Sellner, Dolors Colomer, Stephan Stilgenbauer, Sascha Dietrich, Peter Lichter, Ana Izcue, Martina Seiffert

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The transcription factor eomesodermin (EOMES) promotes interleukin (IL)-10 expression in CD4+ T cells, which has been linked to immunosuppressive and cytotoxic activities. We detected cytotoxic, programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) and EOMES co-expressing CD4+ T cells in lymph nodes (LNs) of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Transcriptome and flow cytometry analyses revealed that EOMES does not only drive IL-10 expression, but rather controls a unique transcriptional signature in CD4+ T cells, that is enriched in genes typical for T regulatory type 1 (TR1) cells. The TR1 cell identity of these CD4+ T cells was supported by their expression of interferon gamma and IL-10, as well as inhibitory receptors including PD-1. TR1 cells with cytotoxic capacity accumulate also in Eµ-TCL1 mice that develop CLL-like disease. Whereas wild-type CD4+ T cells control TCL1 leukemia development after adoptive transfer in leukopenic Rag2-/- mice, EOMES-deficient CD4+ T cells failed to do so. We further show that TR1 cell-mediated control of TCL1 leukemia requires IL-10 receptor (IL-10R) signaling, as Il10rb-deficient CD4+ T cells showed impaired antileukemia activity. Altogether, our data demonstrate that EOMES is indispensable for the development of IL-10-expressing, cytotoxic TR1 cells, which accumulate in LNs of CLL patients and control TCL1 leukemia in mice in an IL-10R-dependent manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311-2324
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


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