IgE Activates Monocytes from Cancer Patients to Acquire a Pro-Inflammatory Phenotype

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 15;12(11):3376. doi: 10.3390/cancers12113376.


IgE contributes to host-protective functions in parasitic and bacterial infections, often by monocyte and macrophage recruitment. We previously reported that monocytes contribute to tumour antigen-specific IgE-mediated tumour growth restriction in rodent models. Here, we investigate the impact of IgE stimulation on monocyte response, cellular signalling, secretory and tumour killing functions. IgE cross-linking on human monocytes with polyclonal antibodies to mimic formation of immune complexes induced upregulation of co-stimulatory (CD40, CD80, CD86), and reduced expression of regulatory (CD163, CD206, MerTK) monocyte markers. Cross-linking and tumour antigen-specific IgE antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) of cancer cells by cancer patient-derived monocytes triggered release of pro-inflammatory mediators (TNFα, MCP-1, IL-10, CXCL-10, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23). High intratumoural gene expression of these mediators was associated with favourable five-year overall survival in ovarian cancer. IgE cross-linking of trimeric FcεRI on monocytes stimulated the phosphorylation of intracellular protein kinases widely reported to be downstream of mast cell and basophil tetrameric FcεRI signalling. These included recently-identified FcεRI pathway kinases Fgr, STAT5, Yes and Lck, which we now associate with monocytes. Overall, anti-tumour IgE can potentiate pro-inflammatory signals, and prime tumour cell killing by human monocytes. These findings will inform the development of IgE monoclonal antibody therapies for cancer.

Keywords: AllergoOncology; FcεRI; IgE; cancer; cancer immunotherapy; cross-linking; cytotoxicity; monocytes.