Cytochalasin B-Induced Membrane Vesicles from Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Overexpressing IL2 Are Able to Stimulate CD8+ T-Killers to Kill Human Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Biology (Basel). 2021 Feb 10;10(2):141. doi: 10.3390/biology10020141.


Interleukin 2 (IL2) was one of the first cytokines used for cancer treatment due to its ability to stimulate anti-cancer immunity. However, recombinant IL2-based therapy is associated with high systemic toxicity and activation of regulatory T-cells, which are associated with the pro-tumor immune response. One of the current trends for the delivery of anticancer agents is the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which can carry and transfer biologically active cargos into cells. The use of EVs can increase the efficacy of IL2-based anti-tumor therapy whilst reducing systemic toxicity. In this study, human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hADSCs) were transduced with lentivirus encoding IL2 (hADSCs-IL2). Membrane vesicles were isolated from hADSCs-IL2 using cytochalasin B (CIMVs-IL2). The effect of hADSCs-IL2 and CIMVs-IL2 on the activation and proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as well as the cytotoxicity of activated PBMCs against human triple negative cancer MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436 cells were evaluated. The effect of CIMVs-IL2 on murine PBMCs was also evaluated in vivo. CIMVs-IL2 failed to suppress the proliferation of human PBMCs as opposed to hADSCs-IL2. However, CIMVs-IL2 were able to activate human CD8+ T-killers, which in turn, killed MDA-MB-231 cells more effectively than hADSCs-IL2-activated CD8+ T-killers. This immunomodulating effect of CIMVs-IL2 appears specific to human CD8+ T-killer cells, as the same effect was not observed on murine CD8+ T-cells. In conclusion, the use of CIMVs-IL2 has the potential to provide a more effective anti-cancer therapy. This compelling evidence supports further studies to evaluate CIMVs-IL2 effectiveness, using cancer mouse models with a reconstituted human immune system.

Keywords: cancer therapy; cytochalasin B; extracellular vesicles; human triple negative breast cancer; immune cell activation; immunotherapy; interleukin 2; mesenchymal stem cells.