Grupos Investigadores

Miembros del Grupo

Conde Gallastegi
María Nieves
Elizalde Agurruza
Lasarte Cia
Mancheño Ujue
Sarrión Pérez-Caballero
Leire María
Silva Vergara
Vercher Herráez

Líneas de Investigación

  • Desarrollo de estrategias de inmunomodulación y generación de moléculas con potencial inmunoterapéutico.
  • Desarrollo de estrategias de terapia celular adoptiva para el tratamiento del cáncer y otras patologías.
  • Desarrollo de vacunas terapéuticas frente al cáncer y enfermedades infecciosas.

Palabras Clave

  • Cáncer
  • Células dentríticas
  • Células T reguladoras
  • Linfocitos T
  • Terapia celular adoptiva
  • Vacunas

Publicaciones Científicas desde 2018

  • Autores: Conde Gallastegi, Enrique; Casares Lagar, Noelia; Mancheño, U.; et al.
    ISSN: 1525-0016 Vol.31 N° 1 2023 págs. 48 - 65
    Regulatory T cells overwhelm conventional T cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) thanks to a FOXP3-driven metabolic program that allows them to engage different metabolic pathways. Using a melanoma model of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT), we show that FOXP3 overexpression in mature CD8 T cells improved their antitumor efficacy, favoring their tumor recruitment, proliferation, and cytotoxicity. FOXP3-overexpressing (Foxp3UP) CD8 T cells exhibited features of tissue-resident memory-like and effector T cells, but not suppressor activity. Transcriptomic analysis of tumor-infiltrating Foxp3UP CD8 T cells showed positive enrichment in a wide variety of metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis, fatty acid (FA) metabolism, and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Intratumoral Foxp3UP CD8 T cells exhibited an enhanced capacity for glucose and FA uptake as well as accumulation of intracellular lipids. Interestingly, Foxp3UP CD8 T cells compensated for the loss of mitochondrial respiration-driven ATP production by activating aerobic glycolysis. Moreover, in limiting nutrient conditions these cells engaged FA oxidation to drive OXPHOS for their energy demands. Importantly, their ability to couple glycolysis and OXPHOS allowed them to sustain proliferation under glucose restriction. Our findings demonstrate a hitherto unknown role for FOXP3 in the adaptation of CD8 T cells to TME that may enhance their efficacy in ACT.
  • Autores: Chocarro, L.; Arasanz, H. (Autor de correspondencia); Fernández-Rubio, L.; et al.
    Revista: LIFE
    ISSN: 2075-1729 Vol.12 N° 4 2022 págs. 561
    Adoptive cell therapy with genetically modified T lymphocytes that express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T) is one of the most promising advanced therapies for the treatment of cancer, with unprecedented outcomes in hematological malignancies. However, the efficacy of CAR-T cells in solid tumors is still very unsatisfactory, because of the strong immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that hinders immune responses. The development of next-generation personalized CAR-T cells against solid tumors is a clinical necessity. The identification of therapeutic targets for new CAR-T therapies to increase the efficacy, survival, persistence, and safety in solid tumors remains a critical frontier in cancer immunotherapy. Here, we summarize basic, translational, and clinical results of CAR-T cell immunotherapies in lung cancer, from their molecular engineering and mechanistic studies to preclinical and clinical development.
  • Autores: Repáraz Pernaut, David (Autor de correspondencia); Hommel, Mirja; Navarro Negredo, Flor Cecilia; et al.
    Revista: International review of cell and molecular biology
    ISSN: 1937-6448 Vol.371 2022 págs. 1 - 14
    Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells that play an important role in the induction of T cell responses. Different subsets (cDC1s, cDC2s, pDCs, and moDCs) were described based on the expression of different surface markers and functions. In the context of peritoneum, DCs are also a key population cell orchestrating immune responses against pathogens, malignant cells and tissue-damage. Furthermore, they play an important role in the promotion of an anti-inflammatory microenvironment, which is necessary to maintain tolerance and adipocyte homeostasis. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge of the functional and phenotypic features of peritoneal DCs and shed some light on the importance of these cells within this unique cavity and its associated components: the omentum, the mesentery and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).
  • Autores: Martín Otal, Celia; Navarro Negredo, Flor Cecilia; Casares Lagar, Noelia; et al.
    Revista: International review of cell and molecular biology
    ISSN: 1937-6448 Vol.370 2022 págs. 1 - 31
    Recent advances in immunotherapy have revolutionized the treatment of cancer. The use of adoptive cell therapies (ACT) such as those based on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) or genetically modified cells (transgenic TCR lymphocytes or CAR-T cells), has shown impressive results in the treatment of several types of cancers. However, cancer cells can exploit mechanisms to escape from immunosurveillance resulting in many patients not responding to these therapies or respond only transiently. The failure of immunotherapy to achieve long-term tumor control is multifactorial. On the one hand, only a limited percentage of the transferred lymphocytes is capable of circulating through the bloodstream, interacting and crossing the tumor endothelium to infiltrate the tumor. Metabolic competition, excessive glucose consumption, the high level of lactic acid secretion and the extracellular pH acidification, the shortage of essential amino acids, the hypoxic conditions or the accumulation of fatty acids in the tumor microenvironment (TME), greatly hinder the anti-tumor activity of the immune cells in ACT therapy strategies. Therefore, there is a new trend in immunotherapy research that seeks to unravel the fundamental biology that underpins the response to therapy and identifies new approaches to better amplify the efficacy of immunotherapies. In this review we address important aspects that may significantly affect the efficacy of ACT, indicating also the therapeutic alternatives that are currently being implemented to overcome these drawbacks.
  • Autores: Martín Otal, Celia; Lasarte-Cia, A.; Serrano Tejero, Diego; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.10 N° 9 2022 págs. e004479corr1
  • Autores: Lujambio, A. (Autor de correspondencia); Sarobe Ugarriza, Pablo (Autor de correspondencia)
    ISSN: 0168-8278 Vol.77 N° 3 2022 págs. 593 - 595
  • Autores: Repáraz Pernaut, David; Aparicio De La Torre, Belén; Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; et al.
    ISSN: 1422-0067 Vol.23 N° 4 2022 págs. 2022
    Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have been used as immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with promising but still limited results. Identification of immune elements in the tumor microenvironment of individual HCC patients may help to understand the correlations of responses, as well as to design personalized therapies for non-responder patients. Immune-enhancing strategies, such as vaccination, would complement ICI in those individuals with poorly infiltrated tumors. The prominent role of responses against mutated tumor antigens (neoAgs) in ICI-based therapies suggests that boosting responses against these epitopes may specifically target tumor cells. In this review we summarize clinical vaccination trials carried out in HCC, the available information on potentially immunogenic neoAgs in HCC patients, and the most recent results of neoAg-based vaccines in other tumors. Despite the low/intermediate mutational burden observed in HCC, data obtained from neoAg-based vaccines in other tumors indicate that vaccines directed against these tumor-specific antigens would complement ICI in a subset of HCC patients.
  • Autores: Martín Otal, Celia; Lasarte-Cía, A.; Serrano Tejero, Diego; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.10 N° 8 2022 págs. e004479
    Background One of the main difficulties of adoptive cell therapies with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells in solid tumors is the identification of specific target antigens. The tumor microenvironment can present suitable antigens for CAR design, even though they are not expressed by the tumor cells. We have generated a CAR specific for the splice variant extra domain A (EDA) of fibronectin, which is highly expressed in the tumor stroma of many types of tumors but not in healthy tissues. Methods EDA expression was explored in RNA-seq data from different human tumor types and by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tumor biopsies. Murine and human anti-EDA CAR-T cells were prepared using recombinant retro/lentiviruses, respectively. The functionality of EDA CAR-T cells was measured in vitro in response to antigen stimulation. The antitumor activity of EDA CAR-T cells was measured in vivo in C57BL/6 mice challenged with PM299L-EDA hepatocarcinoma cell line, in 129Sv mice-bearing F9 teratocarcinoma and in NSG mice injected with the human hepatocarcinoma cell line PLC. Results EDA CAR-T cells recognized and killed EDA-expressing tumor cell lines in vitro and rejected EDA-expressing tumors in immunocompetent mice. Notably, EDA CAR-T cells showed an antitumor effect in mice injected with EDA-negative tumor cells lines when the tumor stroma or the basement membrane of tumor endothelial cells express EDA. Thus, EDA CAR-T administration delayed tumor growth in immunocompetent 129Sv mice challenged with teratocarcinoma cell line F9. EDA CAR-T treatment exerted an antiangiogenic effect and significantly reduced gene signatures associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition, collagen synthesis, extracellular matrix organization as well as IL-6-STAT5 and KRAS pathways. Importantly, the human version of EDA CAR, that includes the human 41BB and CD3 zeta endodomains, exerted strong antitumor activity in NSG mice challenged with the human hepatocarcinoma cell line PLC, which expresses EDA in the tumor stroma and the endothelial vasculature. EDA CAR-T cells exhibited a tropism for EDA-expressing tumor tissue and no toxicity was observed in tumor bearing or in healthy mice. Conclusions These results suggest that targeting the tumor-specific fibronectin splice variant EDA with CAR-T cells is feasible and offers a therapeutic option that is applicable to different types of cancer.
  • Autores: Repáraz Pernaut, David; Ruiz Egozcue, Marta; Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.10 N° 2 2022 págs. e003978
    Background Neoantigens, new immunogenic sequences arising from tumor mutations, have been associated with response to immunotherapy and are considered potential targets for vaccination. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a moderately mutated tumor, where the neoantigen repertoire has not been investigated. Our aim was to analyze whether tumors in HCC patients contain immunogenic neoantigens suitable for future use in therapeutic vaccination. Methods Whole-exome sequencing and RNAseq were performed in a cohort of fourteen HCC patients submitted to surgery or liver transplant. To identify mutations, single-nucleotide variants (SNV) originating non-synonymous changes that were confirmed at the RNA level were analyzed. Immunogenicity of putative neoAgs predicted by HLA binding algorithms was confirmed by using in vitro HLA binding assays and T-cell stimulation experiments, the latter in vivo, by immunizing HLA-A*02.01/HLA-DRB1*01 (HHD-DR1) transgenic mice, and in in vitro, using human lymphocytes. Results Sequencing led to the identification of a median of 1217 missense somatic SNV per patient, narrowed to 30 when filtering by using RNAseq data. A median of 13 and 5 peptides per patient were predicted as potential binders to HLA class I and class II molecules, respectively. Considering only HLA-A*02.01- and HLA-DRB1*01-predicted binders, 70% demonstrated HLA-binding capacity and about 50% were immunogenic when tested in HHD-DR1 mice. These peptides induced polyfunctional T cells that specifically recognized the mutated but not the wild-type sequence as well as neoantigen-expressing cells. Moreover, coimmunization experiments combining CD8 and CD4 neoantigen epitopes resulted in stronger CD8 T cell responses. Finally, responses against neoantigens were also induced in vitro using human cells. Conclusion These results show that mutations in HCC tumors may generate immunogenic neoantigens with potential applicability for future combinatorial therapeutic strategies.
  • Autores: Navarro Negredo, Flor Cecilia (Autor de correspondencia); Casares Lagar, Noelia; Martín Otal, Celia; et al.
    ISSN: 2162-402X Vol.11 N° 1 2022 págs. 2070337
    The high metabolic activity and insufficient perfusion of tumors leads to the acidification of the tumor microenvironment (TME) that may inhibit the antitumor T cell activity. We found that pharmacological inhibition of the acid loader chloride/bicarbonate anion exchanger 2 (Ae2), with 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonicacid (DIDS) enhancedCD4(+) andCD8(+) T cell function upon TCR activation in vitro, especially under low pH conditions. In vivo, DIDS administration delayed B16OVA tumor growth in immunocompetent mice as monotherapy or when combined with adoptive T cell transfer of OVA-specificT cells. Notably, genetic Ae2 silencing in OVA-specificT cells improvedCD4(+)/CD8(+) T cell function in vitro as well as their antitumor activity in vivo. Similarly, genetic modification of OVA-specificT cells to overexpress Hvcn1, a selectiveH(+) outward current mediator that prevents cell acidification, significantly improved T cell function in vitro, even at low pH conditions. The adoptive transfer of OVA-specificT cells overexpressing Hvcn1 exerted a better antitumor activity in B16OVA tumor-bearingmice. Hvcn1 overexpression also improved the antitumor activity of CAR T cells specific for Glypican 3 (GPC3) in mice bearing PM299L-GPC3tumors. Our results suggest that preventing intracellular acidification by regulating the expression of acidifier ion channels such as Ae2 or alkalinizer channels like Hvcn1 in tumor-specificlymphocytes enhances their antitumor response by making them more resistant to the acidic TME.
  • Autores: Lozano Moreda, Teresa (Autor de correspondencia); Conde Gallastegi, Enrique; Martín Otal, Celia; et al.
    ISSN: 0304-3835 Vol.528 2022 págs. 45 - 58
    Adoptive cell transfer therapy using CD8+ T lymphocytes showed promising results eradicating metastatic malignancies. However, several regulatory mechanisms limit its efficacy. We studied the role of the expression of the transcription factor FOXP3 on CD8+ T cell function and anti-tumor immunity. Here we show that suboptimal T cell receptor stimulation of CD8+ T cells upregulates FOXP3 in vitro. Similarly, CD8 T cells transferred into tumor-bearing mice upregulate FOXP3 in vivo. Cell-intrinsic loss of FOXP3 by CD8+ T cells resulted in improved functionality after TCR stimulation and better antitumor responses in vivo. Inhibition of the FOXP3/NFAT interaction likewise improved CD8+ T cell functionality. Transcriptomic analysis of cells after TCR stimulation revealed an enrichment of genes implicated in the response to IFN-gamma, IFN-alpha, inflammatory response, IL-6/JAK/STAT, G2M checkpoint and IL-2/STAT signaling in FOXP3-deficient CD8+ T cells with respect to FOXP3-wt CD8+ T cells. Our results suggest that transient expression of FOXP3 by CD8+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment restrains their anti-tumor activity, with clear implications for improving T cell responses during immunotherapy.
  • Autores: Martín Otal, Celia; Lasarte-Cía, A.; Serrano Tejero, Diego; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.33 N° 7-8 2022 págs. A9 - A10
  • Autores: Navarro Negredo, Flor Cecilia; Casares Lagar, Noelia; Martín Otal, Celia; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.33 N° 7 - 8 2022 págs. A4 - A5
  • Autores: González-Sánchez, E. (Autor de correspondencia); Vaquero, J.; García Fernández de Barrena, Maite; et al.
    Revista: CANCERS
    ISSN: 2072-6694 Vol.13 N° 13 2021 págs. 3248
    Simple Summary Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling is crucial to maintain tissue homeostasis. Alterations in TGF-beta signaling impact tissue functions and favor the development of diseases, including cancer. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most frequent liver tumor, TGF-beta plays a dual role, acting as a tumor-suppressor at early stages but contributing to tumor progression at late stages. TGF-beta can also act on the stroma, favoring progression and driving immune evasion of cancer cells. Therefore, inhibiting the TGF-beta pathway may constitute an effective option for HCC treatment. However, its inhibition in the wrong patients could have negative effects. To overcome this obstacle, it is mandatory to identify relevant biomarkers of the status of TGF-beta signaling in HCC. In this review we summarize the functions of TGF-beta in HCC and the available strategies for targeting TGF-beta signaling. We also present the clinical results of the use of TGF-beta inhibitors and their future in HCC. Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily members are essential for tissue homeostasis and consequently, dysregulation of their signaling pathways contributes to the development of human diseases. In the liver, TGF-beta signaling participates in all the stages of disease progression from initial liver injury to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). During liver carcinogenesis, TGF-beta plays a dual role on the malignant cell, behaving as a suppressor factor at early stages, but contributing to later tumor progression once cells escape from its cytostatic effects. Moreover, TGF-beta can modulate the response of the cells forming the tumor microenvironment that may also contribute to HCC progression, and drive immune evasion of cancer cells. Thus, targeting the TGF-beta pathway may constitute an effective therapeutic option for HCC treatment. However, it is crucial to identify biomarkers that allow to predict the response of the tumors and appropriately select the patients that could benefit from TGF-beta inhibitory therapies. Here we review the functions of TGF-beta on HCC malignant and tumor microenvironment cells, and the current strategies targeting TGF-beta signaling for cancer therapy. We also summarize the clinical impact of TGF-beta inhibitors in HCC patients and provide a perspective on its future use alone or in combinatorial strategies for HCC treatment.
  • Autores: Lozano Moreda, Teresa (Autor de correspondencia); Casares Lagar, Noelia; Martín Otal, Celia; et al.
    ISSN: 2227-9059 Vol.9 N° 2 2021 págs. 197
    (1) Background: The ability of cancer cells to evade the immune system is due in part to their capacity to induce and recruit T regulatory cells (Tregs) to the tumor microenvironment. Strategies proposed to improve antitumor immunity by depleting Tregs generally lack specificity and raise the possibility of autoimmunity. Therefore, we propose to control Tregs by their functional inactivation rather than depletion. Tregs are characterized by the expression of the Forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) transcription factor, which is considered their "master regulator". Its interaction with DNA is assisted primarily by its interaction with other proteins in the so-called "Foxp3 interactome", which elicits much of the characteristic Treg cell transcriptional signature. We speculated that the disruption of such a protein complex by using synthetic peptides able to bind Foxp3 might have an impact on the functionality of Treg cells and thus have a therapeutic potential in cancer treatment. (2) Methods: By using a phage-displayed peptide library, or short synthetic peptides encompassing Foxp3 fragments, or by studying the crystal structure of the Foxp3:NFAT complex, we have identified a series of peptides that are able to bind Foxp3 and inhibit Treg activity. (3) Results: We identified some peptides encompassing fragments of the leuzin zipper or the C terminal domain of Foxp3 with the capacity to inhibit Treg activity in vitro. The acetylation/amidation of linear peptides, head-to-tail cyclization, the incorporation of non-natural aminoacids, or the incorporation of cell-penetrating peptide motifs increased in some cases the Foxp3 binding capacity and Treg inhibitory activity of the identified peptides. Some of them have shown antitumoral activity in vivo. (4) Conclusions: Synthetic peptides constitute an alternative to inhibit Foxp3 protein-protein interactions intracellularly and impair Treg immunosuppressive activity. These peptides might be considered as potential hit compounds on the design of new immunotherapeutic approaches against cancer.
  • Autores: Lasarte-Cia, A. (Autor de correspondencia); Lozano Moreda, Teresa; Cano Rafart, David; et al.
    ISSN: 2314-6133 Vol.2021 2021 págs. 8852233
    Background/Aim. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) showed promising results for small-size tumors and very early cancers. However, further development is needed to evolve this procedure into a more efficient ablation technique for long-term control of tumor growth. In this work, we show that it is possible to increase the antitumor efficiency of IRE by simmultaneously injecting c-di-GMP, a STING agonist, intratumorally. Materials and Methods. Intratumoral administration of c-di-GMP simultaneously to IRE was evaluated in murine models of melanona (B16.OVA) and hepatocellular carcinoma (PM299L). Results. The combined therapy increased the number of tumor-infiltrating IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha-producing CD4 and CD8 T cells and delayed tumor growth, as compared to the effect observed in groups treated with c-di-GMP or IRE alone. Conclusion. These results can lead to the development of a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer patients refractory to other therapies.
  • Autores: Aparicio De La Torre, Belén; Casares Lagar, Noelia; Egea, J.; et al.
    ISSN: 2222-1751 Vol.10 N° 1 2021 págs. 1931 - 1946
    Identification of relevant epitopes is crucial for the development of subunit peptide vaccines inducing neutralizing and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Our aim was the characterization of epitopes in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein to generate a peptide vaccine. Epitope mapping using a panel of 10 amino acid overlapped 15-mer peptides covering region 401-515 from RBD did not identify linear epitopes when tested with sera from infected individuals or from RBD-immunized mice. However, immunization of mice with these 15-mer peptides identified four peptides located at region 446-480 that induced antibodies recognizing the peptides and RBD/S1 proteins. Immunization with peptide 446-480 from S protein formulated with Freund's adjuvant or with CpG oligodeoxinucleotide/Alum induced polyepitopic antibody responses in BALB/c and C56BL/6J mice, recognizing RBD (titres of 3 x 10(4)-3 x 10(5), depending on the adjuvant) and displaying neutralizing capacity (80-95% inhibition capacity; p < 0.05) against SARS-CoV-2. Murine CD4 and CD8T-cell epitopes were identified in region 446-480 and vaccination experiments using HLA transgenic mice suggested the presence of multiple human T-cell epitopes. Antibodies induced by peptide 446-480 showed broad recognition of S proteins and S-derived peptides belonging to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
  • Autores: Conde Gallastegi, Enrique; Vercher Herráez, Enric; Soria-Castellano, M.; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.9 N° 11 2021 págs. e003351
    Background Target antigen (Ag) loss has emerged as a major cause of relapse after chimeric antigen receptor T (CART)-cell therapy. We reasoned that the combination of CART cells, with the consequent tumor debulking and release of Ags, together with an immunomodulatory agent, such as the stimulator of interferon gene ligand (STING-L) 2 ' 3 '-cyclic GMP-AMP (2 ' 3 '-cGAMP), may facilitate the activation of an endogenous response to secondary tumor Ags able to counteract this tumor escape mechanism. Methods Mice bearing B16-derived tumors expressing prostate-specific membrane Ag or gp75 were treated systemically with cognate CART cells followed by intratumoral injections of 2 ' 3 '-cGAMP. We studied the target Ag inmunoediting by CART cells and the effect of the CART/STING-L combination on the control of STING-L-treated and STING-L-non-treated tumors and on the endogenous antitumor T-cell response. The role of Batf3-dependent dendritic cells (DCs), stimulator of interferon gene (STING) signaling and perforin (Perf)-mediated killing in the efficacy of the combination were analyzed. Results Using an immune-competent solid tumor model, we showed that CART cells led to the emergence of tumor cells that lose the target Ag, recreating the cancer immunoediting effect of CART-cell therapy.
  • Autores: Redín Cabodevilla, María Esther; Garmendia Iturbe, Irati; Lozano Moreda, Teresa; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.9 N° 3 2021 págs. e001496
    Introduction The use of immune-checkpoint inhibitors has drastically improved the management of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but innate and acquired resistances are hurdles needed to be solved. Immunomodulatory drugs that can reinvigorate the immune cytotoxic activity, in combination with antiprogrammed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibody, are a great promise to overcome resistance. We evaluated the impact of the SRC family kinases (SFKs) on NSCLC prognosis, and the immunomodulatory effect of the SFK inhibitor dasatinib, in combination with anti-PD-1, in clinically relevant mouse models of NSCLC. Methods A cohort of patients from University Clinic of Navarra (n=116) was used to study immune infiltrates by multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) and YES1 protein expression in tumor samples. Publicly available resources (TCGA, Km Plotter, and CIBERSORT) were used to study patient's survival based on expression of SFKs and tumor infiltrates. Syngeneic NSCLC mouse models 393P and UNSCC680AJ were used for in vivo drug testing. Results Among the SFK members, YES1 expression showed the highest association with poor prognosis. Patients with high YES1 tumor levels also showed high infiltration of CD4+/FOXP3+ cells (regulatory T cells (Tregs)), suggesting an immunosuppressive phenotype. After testing for YES1 expression in a panel of murine cell lines, 393P and UNSCC680AJ were selected for in vivo studies. In the 393P model, dasatinib+anti-PD-1 treatment resulted in synergistic activity, with 87% tumor regressions and development of immunological memory that impeded tumor growth when mice were rechallenged. In vivo depletion experiments further showed that CD8+ and CD4+ cells are necessary for the therapeutic effect of the combination. The antitumor activity was accompanied by a very significant decrease in the number of Tregs, which was validated by mIF in tumor sections. In the UNSCC680AJ model, the antitumor effects of dasatinib+anti-PD-1 were milder but similar to the 393P model. In in vitro assays, we demonstrated that dasatinib blocks proliferation and transforming growth factor beta-driven conversion of effector CD4+ cells into Tregs through targeting of phospholymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase and downstream effectors pSTAT5 and pSMAD3. Conclusions YES1 protein expression is associated with increased numbers of Tregs in patients with NSCLC. Dasatinib synergizes with anti-PD-1 to impair tumor growth in NSCLC experimental models. This study provides the preclinical rationale for the combined use of dasatinib and PD-1/programmed death-ligand 1 blockade to improve outcomes of patients with NSCLC.
  • Autores: Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; Ruiz de Mendoza Marqueta, Marta; Silva, L.; et al.
    ISSN: 0304-3835 Vol.499 2021 págs. 279 - 289
    Analyzing immunomodulatory elements operating during antitumor vaccination in prostate cancer patients and murine models we identified IL-10-producing DC as a subset with poorer immunogenicity and clinical efficacy. Inhibitory TAM receptors MER and AXL were upregulated on murine IL-10(+) DC. Thus, we analyzed conditions inducing these molecules and the potential benefit of their blockade during vaccination. MER and AXL upregulation was more efficiently induced by a vaccine containing Imiquimod than by a poly(I:C)-containing vaccine. Interestingly, MER expression was found on monocyte-derived DC, and was dependent on IL-10. TAM blockade improved Imiquimod-induced DC activation in vitro and in vivo, resulting in increased vaccine-induced T-cell responses, which were further reinforced by concomitant IL-10 inhibition. In different tumor models, a triple therapy (including vaccination, TAM inhibition and IL-10 blockade) provided the strongest therapeutic effect, associated with enhanced T-cell immunity and enhanced CD8(+) T cell tumor infiltration. Finally, MER levels in DC used for vaccination in cancer patients correlated with IL-10 expression, showing an inverse association with vaccine-induced clinical response. These results suggest that TAM receptors upregulated during vaccination may constitute an additional target in combinatorial therapeutic vaccination strategies.
  • Autores: Zambom-Ferraresi, F. (Autor de correspondencia); Zambom-Ferraresi, F.; Fernández Irigoyen, Joaquín; et al.
    ISSN: 1663-4365 Vol.13 2021 págs. 757081
    The aim of this article is to present the research protocol for a prospective cohort study that will assess the olfactory function and the effect of an intervention based on olfactory training in healthy very old adults (>= 75 years old). A convenience sample of 180 older people (50% female) will be recruited in three different environments: hospitalized control group (CH) with stable acute illness (n = 60); ambulatory control group (CA) of community-based living (n = 60); and an experimental odor training group (EOT) from nursing homes (n = 60). The odor training (OT) intervention will last 12 weeks. All the volunteers will be assessed at baseline; CA and EOT groups will also be assessed after 12 weeks. The primary end point will be change in olfactory capacity from baseline to 12 weeks period of intervention or control. The intervention effects will be assessed with the overall score achieved in Sniffin Sticks Test (SST) - Threshold, Discrimination, and Identification (TDI) extended version. Secondary end points will be changes in cognitive tasks, quality of life, mood, immune status, and functional capacity. All these measurements will be complemented with an immune fitness characterization and a deep proteome profiling of the olfactory epithelium (OE) cultured ex vivo. The current study will provide additional evidence to support the implementation of olfactory precision medicine and the development of immunomodulatory nasal therapies based on non-invasive procedures. The proposed intervention will also intend to increase the knowledge about the olfactory function in very elderly people, improve function and quality of life, and promote the recovery of the health.
  • Autores: Blanco, E.; Ibáñez-Vea, M.; Hernández, C.; et al.
    ISSN: 2075-4426 Vol.11 N° 6 2021 págs. 542
    Monocytic and granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells together with tumor-infiltrating macrophages constitute the main tumor-infiltrating immunosuppressive myeloid populations. Due to the phenotypic resemblance to conventional myeloid cells, their identification and purification from within the tumors is technically difficult and makes their study a challenge. We differentiated myeloid cells modeling the three main tumor-infiltrating types together with uncommitted macrophages, using ex vivo differentiation methods resembling the tumor microenvironment. The phenotype and proteome of these cells was compared to identify linage-dependent relationships and cancer-specific interactome expression modules. The relationships between monocytic MDSCs and TAMs, monocytic MDSCs and granulocytic MDSCs, and hierarchical relationships of expression networks and transcription factors due to lineage and cancer polarization were mapped. Highly purified immunosuppressive myeloid cell populations that model tumor-infiltrating counterparts were systematically analyzed by quantitative proteomics. Full functional interactome maps have been generated to characterize at high resolution the relationships between the three main myeloid tumor-infiltrating cell types. Our data highlights the biological processes related to each cell type, and uncover novel shared and differential molecular targets. Moreover, the high numbers and fidelity of ex vivo-generated subsets to their natural tumor-shaped counterparts enable their use for validation of new treatments in high-throughput experiments.
  • Autores: Lasarte-Cía, A.; Silva Pilipich, Noelia Romina; Lasarte Sagastibelza, Juan José; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.32 N° 19-20 2021 págs. A131
  • Autores: Salas Benito, D.; Vercher Herráez, Enric; Conde Gallastegi, E.; et al.
    ISSN: 0959-8049 Vol.15 2020 págs. 56 - 66
    The standard first-line therapy for ovarian cancer is a combination of surgery and carboplatin/paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. Patients with longer survival and improved response to chemotherapy usually present T-cell inflamed tumours. The presence of tumour-infiltrating T cells (TILs) notably varies among the different subtypes of ovarian tumours, being highest in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, intermediate in endometrioid tumours, and lowest in low-grade serous, mucinous and clear cell tumours. Interestingly, the presence of TILs is often accompanied by a strong immunosuppressive tumour environment. A better understanding of the immune response against ovarian cancer and the tumour immune evasion mechanisms will enable improved prognostication, response prediction and immunotherapy of this disease. This article provides an overview of some ovarian cancer cell features relevant for antitumour response, such as tumour-associated antigens, including neoantigens, expression of inhibitory molecules, and other mechanisms of immune evasion. Moreover, we describe relevant immune cell types found in epithelial ovarian tumours, including T and B lymphocytes, regulatory T cells, natural killer cells, tumour-associated macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and neutrophils. We focus on how these components influence the burden of the tumour and the clinical outcome.
  • Autores: Silva, L.; Egea, J.; Villanueva Legarda, Lorea; et al.
    Revista: CANCERS
    ISSN: 2072-6694 Vol.12 N° 11 2020 págs. 3397
    Current immunotherapies based on blockade of immunosuppressive elements provide limited results in liver cancer patients. Here we tested whether combination of this therapy with a vaccine based on the Cold-Inducible RNA Binding Protein (CIRP) would improve its efficacy. Combination of immunotherapy with a CIRP-based vaccine increased vaccine immunogenicity and, when tested in several mouse models of liver cancer, resulted in better therapeutic effects. Despite good immune responses observed in peripheral organs, lymphocytes infiltrating the tumor appeared exhausted, with a weak functional capacity. Finally, by using the same strategy, we prepared a new CIRP-based vaccine containing glypican-3, human antigen commonly found in patients with liver cancer. An equivalent combination enclosing this new vaccine was also highly immunogenic. This suggests that CIRP-based vaccines may enhance the beneficial effects provided by current immunotherapies. However, they should also consider incorporating new elements to overcome limitations observed in tumor lymphocytes. Therapies based on immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPI) have yielded promising albeit limited results in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Vaccines have been proposed as combination partners to enhance response rates to ICPI. Thus, we analyzed the combined effect of a vaccine based on the TLR4 ligand cold-inducible RNA binding protein (CIRP) plus ICPI. Mice were immunized with vaccines containing ovalbumin linke
  • Autores: Arribillaga Arangoa, Laura; Echeverria, Iciar; Belsue V; et al.
    ISSN: 2051-1426 Vol.8 N° 1 2020
    Background In vivo targeting of human papillomavirus (HPV) derived antigens to dendritic cells might constitute an efficient immunotherapeutic strategy against cervical cancer. In previous works, we have shown that the extra domain A from murine fibronectin (mEDA) can be used to target antigens to toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expressing dendritic cells and induce strong antigen-specific immune responses. In the present study, we have produced a bivalent therapeutic vaccine candidate consisting of the human EDA (hEDA) fused to E7 proteins from HPV16 and HPV18 (hEDA-HPVE7-16/18) and evaluate its potential as a therapeutic vaccine against cervical cancer. Materials and methods Recombinant fusion proteins containing HPV E7 proteins from HPV16 and HPV18 virus subtypes fused to hEDA were produced and tested in vitro on their capacity to bind TLR4 and induce the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha or interleukin (IL)-12 by human monocytes and dendritic cells. The immunogenicity and potential therapeutic activity of the vaccine in combination with cisplatin or with the TLR3 agonist molecules polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly IC) or Poly ICLC was evaluated in mice bearing subcutaneous or genital orthotopic HPV16 TC-1 tumors. Results hEDA-HPVE7-16/18 prototype vaccine binds human TLR4 and stimulate TLR4-dependent signaling pathways and IL-12 production by human monocyte-derived dendritic cell. Vaccination with hEDA-HPVE7-16/18 induced strong HPVE7-specific Cytotoxic T lymphocy
  • Autores: Baraibar Argota, Iosune; Román Moreno, Marta; Rodríguez Remírez, María; et al.
    Revista: CANCERS
    ISSN: 2072-6694 Vol.12 N° 11 2020 págs. 31-69
  • Autores: Ivars Lleó, Marta; España Alonso, Agustín (Autor de correspondencia); Alzuguren Maza, María Pilar; et al.
    ISSN: 0007-0963 Vol.182 N° 5 2020 págs. 1194 - 1204
    Background Acantholysis in pemphigus vulgaris (PV) may be triggered by desmoglein (Dsg) and non-Dsg autoantibodies. The autoantibody profile of each patient results in distinct intracellular signalling patterns. Objectives Based on our previous findings, we aimed to elucidate whether PV acantholysis in a mouse model may be mediated by activation of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10). Methods We used three PV-IgG fractions from different patients containing high or low levels of anti-Dsg1 and anti-Dsg3 antibodies, and the presence or not of anti-desmocollin (Dsc) antibodies, using a passive transfer mouse model of PV. Results Although all of the PV-IgG fractions produced suprabasal acantholysis, only those containing anti-Dsg1/3, but not anti-Dsc2/3 antibodies, induced ADAM10 activation in a Src-dependent way, and an increase in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor ligands EGF and betacellulin (BTC). In contrast, the presence of anti-Dsc2/3 antibodies, in addition to anti-Dsg1/3, triggered earlier and ADAM10-independent epidermal detachment, with no increase in EGF and BTC, which was associated with an earlier and more intense acantholysis. Conclusions All PV-IgG fractions produced suprabasal acantholysis, but our results reveal that depending on the levels of anti-Dsg antibodies or the presence of non-Dsg antibodies, such as anti-Dsc, more severe cell-cell epidermal detachment will occur at different times, and in an ADAM10-dependent manner or not. Acantholysis in these different groups of patients with PV may be a consequence of the activation of specific intracellular mechanisms downstream of Autoantibodies binding to Dsg or non-Dsg proteins, and therefore more specific therapeutic approaches in PV should be used. What's already known about this topic? Suprabasal acantholysis in pemphigus vulgaris (PV) may be triggered by both desmoglein (Dsg) and non-Dsg autoantibodies. The autoantibody profile of each patient is associated with a distinct intracellular signalling pattern. What does this study add? In patients with PV with anti-Dsg3 and anti-Dsg1, but not anti-desmocollin (Dsc)3 antibodies, ADAM10 activation is induced in an Src-dependent way, together with an increase in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands EGF and betacellulin. The presence of anti-Dsc3 antibodies triggers an earlier and ADAM10-independent acantholysis, without increasing EGFR ligands, and is associated with more severe epidermal detachment. Lower levels of anti-Dsc3 antibodies are associated with less severe acantholysis. What is the translational message? In some patients with PV, the severity and the timing for cell-cell detachment seem to depend on the level of anti-Dsg1/3 antibodies, although other as yet uncharacterized antibodies may also participate. These patients with PV would exhibit inhibition of acantholysis by Src, ADAM10, EGF and EGFR inhibitors. In other patients, the presence of non-Dsg antibodies, such as anti-Dsc2/3, would produce an earlier and more severe ADAM10-independent suprabasal acantholysis.
  • Autores: Vercher Herráez, Enric; Tamayo Uria, Ibon; Mancheño, U.; et al.
    ISSN: 0168-8278 Vol.73 N° Supl. 1 2020 págs. S39 - S40
  • Autores: Repáraz Pernaut, David; Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; Sarobe Ugarriza, Pablo (Autor de correspondencia)
    ISSN: 1078-0432 Vol.25 N° 16 2019 págs. 4871 - 4873
    Induction of antitumor responses by vaccines requires strong immunogens. Heterologous viral prime/boost immunization with the BN-CV301 vaccine promotes activation of immune responses that provide a clinical benefit to patients with cancer. This viral platform may be used to harbor different antigens and prime tumor immunity potentially useful for combinatorial strategies.
  • Autores: Llopiz, Diana; Ruiz, Marta; Villanueva, Lorea; et al.
    ISSN: 0340-7004 Vol.68 N° 3 2019 págs. 379 - 393
    Immune checkpoint inhibitors are currently tested in different combinations in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nivolumab, an anti-PD-1 agent, has gained approval in the second-line setting in the USA. Epigenetic drugs have immune-mediated antitumor effects that may improve the activity of immunotherapy agents. Our aim was to study the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies) in combination with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) Belinostat. In a subcutaneous Hepa129 murine HCC model, we demonstrated that Belinostat improves the antitumor activity of anti-CTLA-4 but not of anti-PD-1 therapy. This effect correlated with enhanced IFN-gamma production by antitumor T-cells and a decrease in regulatory T-cells. Moreover, the combination induced early upregulation of PD-L1 on tumor antigen-presenting cells and late expression of PD-1 on tumor-infiltrating effector T-cells, suggesting the suitability of PD-1 blockade. Indeed, Belinostat combined with the simultaneous blockade of CTLA-4 and PD-1 led to complete tumor rejection. These results provide a rationale for testing Belinostat in combination with checkpoint inhibitors to enhance their therapeutic activity in patients with HCC.
  • Autores: Sarobe Ugarriza, Pablo; Corrales, Fernando (Autor de correspondencia)
    Revista: GUT
    ISSN: 0017-5749 Vol.68 N° 11 2019 págs. 1913 - 1914
  • Autores: Vivas Pérez, Isabel; Iribarren, K.; Lozano Moreda, Teresa; et al.
    ISSN: 1051-0443 Vol.30 N° 7 2019 págs. 1098 - 1105
    Purpose: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of irreversible electroporation (IRE) combined with the intratumoral injection of the immunogenic adjuvant poly-ICLC (polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid and poly-L-lysine, a dsRNA analog mimicking viral RNA) inmediately before IRE. Materials and Methods: Mice and rabbits bearing hepatocellular carcinoma tumors (Hepa.129 and VX2 tumor models, respectively) were treated with IRE (2 pulses of 2500V), with poly-ICLC, or with IRE + poly-ICLC combination therapy. Tumor growth in mice was monitored using a digital caliper and by computed tomography in rabbits. Results: Intratumoral administration of poly-ICLC immediately before IRE elicited shrinkage of Hepa.129 cell-derived tumors in 70% of mice, compared to 30% and 26% by poly-ICLC or IRE alone, respectively (P = .0004). This combined therapy induced the shrinkage of VX-2-based hepatocellular carcinoma tumors in 40% of rabbits, whereas no response was achieved by either individual treatment (P = .045). The combined therapy activated a systemic antitumor response able to inhibit the growth of other untreated tumors. Conclusions: IRE treatment, immediately preceded by the intratumoral administration of an immunogenic adjuvant such as poly-ICLC, might enhance the antitumor effect of the IRE procedure. This combination might facilitate the induction of a long-term systemic response to prevent tumor relapses and the appearance of metastases.
  • Autores: Lozano Moreda, Teresa; Chocarro de Miguel, Silvia; Martín Otal, Celia; et al.
    ISSN: 1664-3224 Vol.10 2019 págs. 2990
    Adoptive immunotherapy with ex vivo-expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) has achieved objective clinical responses in a significant number of patients with cancer. The failure of many patients to develop long-term tumor control may be, in part, due to exhaustion of transferred T cells in the presence of a hostile tumor microenvironment. In several tumor types, growth and survival of carcinoma cells appear to be sustained by a network of receptors/ligands of the ErbB family. We speculated that if transferred T cells could benefit from EGFR ligands produced by the tumor, they might proliferate better and exert their anti-tumor activities more efficiently. We found that CD8(+) T cells transduced with a retrovirus to express EGFR responded to EGFR ligands activating the EGFR signaling pathway. These EGFR-expressing effector T cells proliferated better and produced more IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in the presence of EGFR ligands produced by tumor cells in vitro. EGFR-expressing CD8 T cells from OT-1 mice were more efficient killing B16-OVA cells than control OT-1 CD8 T cells. Importantly, EGFR-expressing OT-1 T cells injected into B16-OVA tumor bearing mice were recruited into the tumor, expressed lower levels of the exhaustion markers PD1, TIGIT, and LAG3, and were more efficient in delaying tumor growth. Our results suggest that genetic modification of CD8(+) T cells to express EGFR might be considered in immunotherapeutic strategies based on adoptive transfer of anti-tumor T cells against cancers expressing EGFR ligands.
  • Autores: Martinez Soldevilla, Mario; Villanueva, Helena; Meraviglia-Crivelli, Daniel ; et al.
    ISSN: 1525-0016 Vol.27 N° 11 2019 págs. 1878 - 1891
    Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) blockade therapy is able to induce long-lasting antitumor responses in a fraction of cancer patients. Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement in the quest for new therapeutic combinations. ICOS costimulation has been underscored as a possible target to include with CTLA-4 blocking treatment. Herein, we describe an ICOS agonistic aptamer that potentiates T cell activation and induces stronger antitumor responses when locally injected at the tumor site in combination with anti-CTLA-4 antibody in different tumor models. Furthermore, ICOS agonistic aptamer was engineered as a bi-specific tumor-targeting aptamer to reach any disseminated tumor lesions after systemic injection. Treatment with the bi-specific aptamer in combination with CTLA-4 blockade showed strong antitumor immunity, even in a melanoma tumor model where CTLA-4 treatment alone did not display any significant therapeutic benefit. Thus, this work provides strong support for the development of combinatorial therapies involving anti-CTLA-4 blockade and ICOS agonist tumor-targeting agents.
  • Autores: Carneros, David; Eva M. Santamaria, Eva M.; Larequi Ardanáz, Eduardo; et al.
    Revista: FASEB JOURNAL
    ISSN: 0892-6638 Vol.33 N° 6 2019 págs. 7578 - 7587
  • Autores: Setiawan, M. F. ; Rudan, O.; Vogt, A.; et al.
    ISSN: 0250-7005 Vol.39 N° 10 2019 págs. 5369 - 5374
    Background/Aim: Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are ex vivo expanded major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-unrestricted cytotoxic cells with promising effects against a variety of cancer types. Regulatory T-cells (T-reg) have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of CIK cells against tumor cells. Peptide P60 has been shown to inhibit the immunosuppressive functions of T-regs. This study aimed at examining the effect of p60 on CIK cells efficacy against renal and pancreatic cancer cells. Materials and Methods: The effect of P60 on CIK cytotoxicity was examined using flow cytometry, WST-8-based cell viability assay and interferon gamma (IFN gamma) ELISA. Results: P60 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the viability of renal and pancreatic cancer cell lines co-cultured with CIK cells. No increase in IFN gamma secretion from CIK cells was detected following treatment with P60. P60 caused no changes in the distribution of major effector cell populations in CIK cell cultures. Conclusion: P60 may potentiate CIK cell cytotoxicity against tumor cells.
  • Autores: Merino Díaz, María; Contreras Sandoval, Ana Margarita; Casares Lagar, Noelia; et al.
    ISSN: 1743-5889 Vol.17 2019 págs. 13 - 25
  • Autores: Ballesteros-Briones, M. C.; Martisová, Eva; Casales Zoco, Erkuden; et al.
    ISSN: 1525-0016 Vol.27 N° 11 2019 págs. 1892 - 1905
    Immune checkpoint blockade has shown anti-cancer efficacy, but requires systemic administration of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), often leading to adverse effects. To avoid toxicity, mAbs could be expressed locally in tumors. We developed adeno-associated virus (AAV) and Semliki Forest virus (SFV) vectors expressing anti-programmed death ligand 1 (aPDL1) mAb. When injected intratumorally in MC38 tumors, both viral vectors led to similar local mAb expression at 24 h, diminishing quickly in SFV-aPDL1-treated tumors. However, SFV-aPDL1 induced >40% complete regressions and was superior to AAV-aPDL1, as well as to aPDL1 mAb given systemically or locally. SFV-aPDL1 induced abscopal effects and was also efficacious against B16-ovalbumin (OVA). The higher SFV-aPDL1 antitumor activity could be related to local upregulation of interferon-stimulated genes because of SFV RNA replication. This was confirmed by combining local SFV-LacZ administration and systemic aPDL1 mAb, which provided higher antitumor effects than each separated agent. SFVaPDL1 promoted tumor-specific CD8 T cells infiltration in both tumor models. In MC38, SFV-aPDL1 upregulated co-stimulatory markers (CD137/OX40) in tumor CD8 T cells, and its combination with anti-CD137 mAb showed more pronounced antitumor effects than each single agent. These results indicate that local transient expression of immunomodulatory mAbs using non-propagative RNA vectors inducing type I interferon (IFN-I) responses represents a potent and s
  • Autores: Ballesteros-Briones, M. C.; Martisová, Eva; Casales Zoco, Erkuden; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.30 N° 11 2019 págs. A16 - A16
  • Autores: Hervas Stubbs, Sandra; Gonzalez-Vaz, J.; Mancheno, U.; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.30 N° 12 2019 págs. A15 - A15
  • Autores: Conde-Gallastegi, E.; Suarez, J.; Elizalde, E.; et al.
    ISSN: 1043-0342 Vol.30 N° 12 2019 págs. A6 - A7
  • Autores: Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; Ruiz, M.; Silva, L.; et al.
    ISSN: 1664-3224 Vol.9 2018
  • Autores: Lasarte, Aritz; Lozano Moreda, Teresa; Pérez González, Marta; et al.
    ISSN: 1664-3224 Vol.9 N° JAN 2018 págs. Article number: 68
    A complex network of interactions exists between the immune, the olfactory, and the central nervous system (CNS). Inhalation of different fragrances can affect immunological reactions in response to an antigen but also may have effects on the CNS and cognitive activity. We performed an exploratory study of the immunomodulatory ability of a series of compounds representing each of the 10 odor categories or clusters described previously. We evaluated the impact of each particular odor on the immune response after immunization with the model antigen ovalbumin in combination with the TLR3 agonist poly I:C. We found that some odors behave as immunostimulatory agents, whereas others might be considered as potential immunosuppressant odors. Interestingly, the immunomodulatory capacity was, in some cases, strain-specific. In particular, one of the fragrances, carvone, was found to be immunostimulatory in BALB/c mice and immunosuppressive in C57BL/6J mice, facilitating or impairing viral clearance, respectively, in a model of a viral infection with a recombinant adenovirus. Importantly, inhalation of the odor improved the memory capacity in BALB/c mice in a fear-conditioning test, while it impaired this same capacity in C57BL/6J mice. The improvement in memory capacity in BALB/c was associated with higher CD3+ T cell infiltration into the hippocampus and increased local expression of mRNA coding for IL-1ß, TNF-¿, and IL-6 cytokines. In contrast, the memory impairment in C57BL/6 was associated with a reduction in CD3 numbers and an increase in IFN-¿. These data suggest an association between the immunomodulatory capacity of smells and their impact on the cognitive functions of the animals. These results highlight the potential of studying odors as therapeutic agents for CNS-related diseases.
  • Autores: Villanueva Legarda, Lorea; Silva Vergara, Leire María; Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; et al.
    ISSN: 2162-4011 Vol.7 N° 4 2018 págs. Article: e1409321
    Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes have been associated with a better prognostic and with higher response rates in patients treated with checkpoint inhibiting antibodies, suggesting that strategies promoting tumor inflammation may enhance the efficacy of these currently available therapies. Our aim was thus to develop a new vaccination platform based on cold-inducible RNA binding protein (CIRP), an endogenous TLR4 ligand generated during inflammatory processes, and characterize whether it was amenable to combination with checkpoint inhibitors. In vitro, CIRP induced dendritic cell activation, migration and enhanced presentation of CIRP-bound antigens to T-cells. Accordingly, antigen conjugation to CIRP conferred immunogenicity, dependent on immunostimulatory and antigen-targeting capacities of CIRP. When applied in a therapeutic setting, vaccination led to CD8-dependent tumor rejection in several tumor models. Moreover, immunogenicity of this vaccination platform was enhanced not only by combination with additional adjuvants, but also with antibodies blocking PD-1/PD-L1, CTLA-4 and IL-10, immunosuppressive molecules usually present in the tumor environment and also induced by the vaccine. Therefore, priming with a CIRP-based vaccine combined with immune checkpoint-inhibiting antibodies rejected established B16-OVA tumors. Finally, equivalent activation and T-cell stimulatory effects were observed when using CIRP in vitro with human cells, suggesting that CIRP-based vaccination strategies could be a valuable clinical tool to include in combinatorial immunotherapeutic strategies in cancer patients.
  • Autores: Llopiz Khatchikian, Diana Isabel; Ruiz Egozcue, Marta; Villanueva, L. ; et al.
    ISSN: 0168-8278 Vol.68 N° Supl. 1 2018 págs. S677 - S677

Proyectos desde 2018

  • Título: EPICA: Dual epigenetic targeting and immunotherapy to fight against cancer.
    Código de expediente: AC16/00041
    Investigador principal: FELIPE LUIS PROSPER CARDOSO
    Convocatoria: TRANSCAN-2
    Fecha de inicio: 01-03-2017
    Fecha fin: 31-08-2020
    Importe concedido: 144.159,40€
    Otros fondos: Fondos FEDER
  • Título: HEPAMUT: Mutated neo-antigens in hepatocellular carcinoma.
    Código de expediente: AC16/00065
    Investigador principal: BRUNO CARLOS SANGRO GOMEZ-ACEBO
    Convocatoria: TRANSCAN-2
    Fecha de inicio: 20-02-2017
    Fecha fin: 31-08-2020
    Importe concedido: 87.216,80€
    Otros fondos: Fondos FEDER
  • Título: Treatment of advanced breast cancer with adoptive therapy of CD3+/PD1+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes
    Investigador principal: MARTA SANTISTEBAN ESLAVA
    Convocatoria: 2019 AECC GRUPOS COORDINADOS
    Fecha de inicio: 01-12-2019
    Fecha fin: 30-05-2025
    Importe concedido: 106.000,00€
  • Título: Promoting endogenous immune response with CAR T-cell Therapy for the treatment of solid tumors
    Investigador principal: SANDRA HERVAS STUBBS
    Convocatoria: Ideas Semilla 2018
    Fecha de inicio: 01-12-2018
    Fecha fin: 31-05-2021
    Importe concedido: 20.000,00€
  • Título: CAIXAIMPULSE 2017 PS
    Investigador principal: PABLO SAROBE UGARRIZA
    Convocatoria: 2017 - CAIXAIMPULSE, 2017 - CAIXAIMPULSE
    Fecha de inicio: 24-11-2017
    Fecha fin: 30-04-2020
    Importe concedido: 87.500,00€
  • Título: Nueva estrategia terapéutica para evitar el escape inmune en cáncer de pulmón metastásico mediante el bloqueo combinado PD-1 e Id1
    Investigador principal: IGNACIO GIL BAZO
    Convocatoria: 2016 MERCK SALUD
    Fecha de inicio: 01-06-2017
    Fecha fin: 06-06-2020
    Importe concedido: 30.000,00€
  • Título: Gene editing of key transcription factors to improve the antitumor efficacy of Adoptive T cell Therapy
    Convocatoria: 2016 - FUNDACION RAMON ARECES
    Fecha de inicio: 02-03-2017
    Fecha fin: 01-03-2020
    Importe concedido: 111.713,25€
  • Título: Analysis of potential changes in hepatocellular carcinoma inmunoscore after C virus erradication with direct antiviral agents.
    Financiador: GILEAD SCIENCES, S.L.
    Convocatoria: 2016 GILEAD
    Fecha de inicio: 21-01-2017
    Fecha fin: 20-01-2019
    Importe concedido: 38.525,00€