Tumor exosomes block dendritic cells maturation to decrease the T cell immune response

Immunol Lett. 2018 Jul;199:36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2018.05.002. Epub 2018 May 22.


Tumors can induce the generation and accumulation of immunosuppression in a tumor microenvironment, contributing to the tumor's escape from immunological surveillance. Although tumor antigen-pulsed dendritic cell can improve anti-tumor immune responses, tumor associated regulatory dendritic cells are involved in the induction of immune tolerance. The current study sought to investigate whether exosomes produced by tumor cells had any effect on DCs in immune suppression. In this study, we examined the effect of tumor exosomes on DCs and found that exosomes from LLC Lewis lung carcinoma or 4T1 breast cancer cell blocked the differentiation of myeloid precursor cells into CD11c+ DCs and induced cell apoptosis. Tumor exosome treatment inhibited the maturation and migration of DCs and promoted the immune suppression of DCs. The treatment of tumor exosomes drastically decreased CD4+IFN-γ+ Th1 differentiation but increased the rates of regulatory T (Treg) cells. The immunosuppressive ability of tumor exosome-treated DCs were partially restored with PD-L1 blockage. These data suggested that PD-L1 played a role in tumor exosome-induced DC-associated immune suppression.

Keywords: Dendritic cell; Immune response; T cell differentiation; Tumor exosome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • B7-H1 Antigen / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Exosomes / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Progenitor Cells / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Tumor Escape / immunology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology


  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Cd274 protein, mouse