Several studies have evaluated the efficacy of using human oncolytic adenovirus (OAdv)-loaded mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) for cancer treatment. For example, we have described the antitumor efficacy of CELYVIR, autologous bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells infected with the OAdv ICOVIR-5, for treatment of patients with neuroblastoma. Results from this clinical trial point out the role of the immune system in the clinical outcome. In this context, a better understanding of the immunophenotypic changes of human MSCs upon adenoviral infection and how these changes affect human autologous or allogeneic peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) could guide strategies to improve the antitumor efficacy of infected MSCs. In this work, we show how infection by an OAdv induces toll-like receptor 9 overexpression and activation of the NFĸB pathway in menstrual blood-derived MSCs, leading to a specific cytokine secretion profile. Moreover, a proinflammatory environment, mainly mediated by monocyte activation that leads to the activation of both T cells and natural killer cells (NK cell), is generated when OAdv-loaded MSCs are cocultured with allogeneic PBMCs. This combination of allogeneic PBMCs and OAdv-loaded MSCs enhances antitumor efficacy both in vitro and in vivo, an effect partially mediated by monocytes and NK cells. Altogether our results demonstrate not only the importance of the immune system for the OAdv-loaded MSCs antitumor efficacy, but in particular the benefits of using allogeneic MSCs for this therapy.
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.