CD24 and its ligand Siglec-10 were described as an innate immune checkpoint in carcinoma. Here, we investigated this axis in B-cell lymphoma by assessing CD24 expression and evaluating pro-phagocytic effects of CD24 antibody treatment in comparison to hallmark immune checkpoint CD47. In mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and follicular lymphoma patients, high mRNA expression of CD24 correlated with poor overall survival, whereas CD47 expression did not. Conversely, CD24 expression did not correlate with survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), whereas CD47 did. CD24 was also highly expressed on MCL cell lines, where treatment with CD24 antibody clones SN3 or ML5 potently induced phagocytosis, with SN3 yielding >90% removal of MCL cells and triggering phagocytosis of primary patient-derived MCL cells by autologous macrophages. Treatment with CD24 mAb was superior to CD47 mAb in MCL and was comparable in magnitude to the effect observed in carcinoma lines. Reversely, CD24 mAb treatment was less effective than CD47 mAb treatment in DLBCL. Finally, phagocytic activity of clone SN3 appeared at least partly independent of antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), suggesting CD24/Siglec-10 checkpoint activity, whereas clone ML5 solely induced ADCP. In conclusion, CD24 is an immunotherapeutic target of potential clinical relevance for MCL, but not DLBCL.
Keywords: CD24; immune checkpoint; immunotherapy; mantle cell lymphoma; phagocytosis.