Cancer progression has been associated with the presence of tumor-associated M2-macrophages (M2-TAMs) able to inhibit anti-tumor immune responses. It is also often associated with metastasis-induced bone destruction mediated by osteoclasts. Both cell types are controlled by the CD115 (CSF-1R)/colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1, M-CSF) pathway, making CD115 a promising target for cancer therapy. Anti-human CD115 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that inhibit the receptor function have been generated in a number of laboratories. These mAbs compete with CSF-1 binding to CD115, dramatically affecting monocyte survival and preventing osteoclast and macrophage differentiation, but they also block CD115/CSF-1 internalization and degradation, which could lead to potent rebound CSF-1 effects in patients after mAb treatment has ended. We thus generated and selected a non-ligand competitive anti-CD115 mAb that exerts only partial inhibitory effects on CD115 signaling without blocking the internalization or the degradation of the CD115/CSF-1 complex. This mAb, H27K15, affects monocyte survival only minimally, but downregulates osteoclast differentiation and activity. Importantly, it inhibits monocyte differentiation to CD163(+)CD64(+) M2-polarized suppressor macrophages, skewing their differentiation toward CD14(-)CD1a(+) dendritic cells (DCs). In line with this observation, H27K15 also drastically inhibits monocyte chemotactic protein-1 secretion and reduces interleukin-6 production; these two molecules are known to be involved in M2-macrophage recruitment. Thus, the non-depleting mAb H27K15 is a promising anti-tumor candidate, able to inhibit osteoclast differentiation, likely decreasing metastasis-induced osteolysis, and able to prevent M2 polarization of TAMs while inducing DCs, hence contributing to the creation of more efficient anti-tumor immune responses.
Keywords: CD115; CSF-1R; FcγR; M-CSFR; M2-macrophages; cancer immunotherapy; dendritic cells; immunomodulation; osteolysis; tumor microenvironment.