Tissue dendritic cells (DCs) may influence the progression of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) by regulating the functional capacity of antitumor effector cells. DCs and their interaction with T cells were analyzed in human RCC and control kidney tissues. The frequency of CD209(+) DCs in RCCs was found to be associated with an unfavorable T(H)1 cell balance in the tissue and advanced tumor stages. The CD209(+) DCs in RCC were unusual because most of them co-expressed macrophage markers (CD14, CD163). The phenotype of these enriched-in-renal-carcinoma DCs (ercDCs) could be reiterated in vitro by carcinoma-secreted factors (CXCL8/IL-8, IL-6, and vascular endothelial growth factor). ErcDCs resembled conventional DCs in costimulatory molecule expression and antigen cross-presentation. They did not suppress cognate cytotoxic T-lymphocyte function and did not cause CD3ζ down-regulation, FOXP3 induction, or T-cell apoptosis in situ or in vitro; thus, they are different from classic myeloid-derived suppressor cells. ErcDCs secreted high levels of metalloproteinase 9 and used T-cell crosstalk to increase tumor-promoting tumor necrosis factor α and reduce chemokines relevant for T(H)1-polarized lymphocyte recruitment. This modulation of the tumor environment exerted by ercDCs suggests an immunologic mechanism by which tumor control can fail without involving cytotoxic T-lymphocyte inhibition. Pharmacologic targeting of the deviated DC differentiation could improve the efficacy of immunotherapy against RCC.
Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.