CCR2 Influences T Regulatory Cell Migration to Tumors and Serves as a Biomarker of Cyclophosphamide Sensitivity.

Loyher PL, Rochefort J, Baudesson de Chanville C, Hamon P, Lescaille G, Bertolus C, Guillot-Delost M, Krummel MF, Lemoine FM, Combadière C, Boissonnas A.

The CCL2 chemokine receptor CCR2 drives cancer by mediating the recruitment of monocytes and myeloid-derived suppressor cells to the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we extend the significance of CCR2 in this setting by identifying a new role for it in mediating recruitment of CD4+ T regulatory cells (Treg). Following tumor initiation, an expanded population of CCR2+ Tregs required CCR2 expression to traffic between draining lymph nodes (dLN) and the tumor. This Treg subset was enriched in the fraction of tumor antigen-specific cells in the dLN, where they displayed an activated immunosuppressive phenotype. Notably, in mouse models, low-dose cyclophosphamide treatment preferentially depleted CCR2+ Treg, enhancing priming of tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. In the MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model of breast cancer and in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients, tumor development was associated with decreased blood frequency and inversely increased tumor frequency of CCR2+ Tregs. Our results define a novel subset of CCR2+ Treg involved in tumoral immune escape, and they offer evidence that this Treg subset may be preferentially eradicated by low-dose cyclophosphamide treatment.

Cancer Res. 2016 Nov 15;76(22):6483-6494.
doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0984