Herein we report the impact of localized delivery of an anti-mouse PD-1-specific monoclonal antibody (aPD1) on Renca tumors in the resulting T cell responses and changes in broader immune gene expression profiles. Renca is a BALB/c mice syngeneic tumor that has been used to model human renal cell carcinoma In this study, T cell subsets were examined in tumors and draining lymph nodes of mice treated with localized PD-1 with and without the addition of adenosine deaminase (ADA), an enzyme that catabolizes adenosine (ADO), identified as an immune checkpoint in several types of human cancers. The biologics, aPD1, or aPD1 with adenosine deaminase (aPD1/ADA), were formulated with the self-assembling peptides Z15_EAK to enhance retention near the tumor inoculation site. We found that both aPD1 and aPD1/ADA skewed the local immune milieu towards an immune stimulatory phenotype by reducing Tregs, increasing CD8 T cell infiltration, and upregulating IFNɣ. Analysis of tumor specimens using bulk RNA-Seq confirmed the impact of the localized aPD1 treatment and revealed differential gene expressions elicited by the loco-regional treatment. The effects of ADA and Z15_EAK were limited to tumor growth delay and lymph node enlargement. These results support the notion of expanding the use of locoregional PD-1 blockade in solid tumors.
Keywords: EAK16-II; RENCA; hydrogel; immune checkpoint blockade; peritumoral delivery; self-assembling peptides.