Secretory IgM Exacerbates Tumor Progression by Inducing Accumulations of MDSCs in Mice

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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells can secrete immunoglobulin M. However, it is not clear whether secretory IgM (sIgM) plays a role in disease progression. We crossed the Eμ-TCL1 mouse model of CLL, in which the expression of human TCL1 oncogene was driven by the V(H) promoter-Ig(H)-Eμ enhancer, with MD4 mice whose B cells produced B-cell receptor (membrane-bound IgM) and sIgM with specificity for hen egg lysozyme (HEL). CLL cells that developed in these MD4/Eμ-TCL1 mice reactivated a parental Ig gene allele and secreted IgM, and did not recognize HEL. The MD4/Eμ-TCL1 mice had reduced survival, increased myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), and decreased numbers of T cells. We tested whether sIgM could contribute to the accumulation of MDSCs by crossing μS–/– mice, which could not produce sIgM, with Eμ-TCL1 mice. The μS–/–/Eμ-TCL1 mice survived longer than Eμ-TCL1 mice and developed decreased numbers of MDSCs which were less able to suppress proliferation of T cells. We targeted the synthesis of sIgM by deleting the function of XBP-1s and showed that targeting XBP-1s genetically or pharmacologically could lead to decreased sIgM, accompanied by decreased numbers and reduced functions of MDSCs in MD4/Eμ-TCL1 mice. Additionally, MDSCs from μS–/– mice grafted with Lewis lung carcinoma were inefficient suppressors of T cells, resulting in slower tumor growth. These results demonstrate that sIgM produced by B cells can upregulate the functions of MDSCs in tumor-bearing mice to aggravate cancer progression. In a mouse model of CLL, production of secretory IgM led to more MDSCs, fewer T cells, and shorter survival times for the mice. Thus, secretory IgM may aggravate the progression of this cancer.

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Cancer Immunology Research, v. 6, issue 6, p. 696-710