The pro-tumor contributions of prostaglandin (PG) E2 are established, as is the clinical efficacy of pharmacological inhibition of COX-2, the rate-limiting enzyme in PGE2 synthesis. In addition to the desired suppression of tumor PGE2, collateral loss of endothelial COX-2-derived PGI2 imposes a cardiovascular hazard that limits clinical use of COX-2 inhibitors. mPGES1, the terminal enzyme in the PGE2 synthesis pathway, is an alternative target to interrupt COX-2-driven events in tumors without elevating cardiovascular risk. We engineered mice transgenic for an activated HER2/neu oncogene to lack mPGES1 globally (mPGES1 KOgl) or only in mammary epithelial cells (mPGES1 KOepi). Abdominal mammary glands from wild type (WT), heterozygous (het), mPGES1 KOgl, and mPGES1 KOepi mice were harvested at 22 weeks of age, paraffin embedded, H&E stained, and scanned for whole slide imaging (WSI). Tumor multiplicity was calculated based on the number of lesions on WSI. Adjacent sections were immunostained for Ki67, caspase 3, Factor VIII, CD3, and F4/80, to assess proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and tumor lymphocyte and macrophage infiltration. Tumor multiplicity was significantly higher in WT compared to either mPGES1 KOgl or mPGES1 KOepi mice. By immunohistochemistry, no difference was observed in proliferation and apoptosis markers, as well as in the number of tumor infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes, between WT, mPGES1 KOgl, and mPGES1 KOepi tumors. In contrast to our previous study in mice lacking epithelial COX-2 (COX-2 KOepi), vascularization was not different between mPEGS-1 KOepi and WT tumors suggesting divergence in the anti-tumorigenic mechanisms in mPEGS-1 KOepi and COX-2 KOepi tumors. By flow cytometry there was no difference in infiltrating macrophage and lymphocyte density or functional phenotypes, between WT and mPGES1 KOepi tumors. In the orthotopic mammary tumor model, no difference was observed in the number of macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells in spleens from mPGES1 sufficient and mPGES1 KD orthotopic tumor bearing mice. In contrast, decreased co-inhibitory molecule PD-1 expressing CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte numbers were evident in draining lymph nodes in mice injected with mPGES1 KD cells compared to controls. Depletion of CD8+ cells alone, or together with CD4+ cells, significantly accelerated the growth of mPGES1 KD orthotopic tumors. This finding indicates that the absence of mPGES1-derived PGE2 renders tumor cells less efficient in creating and maintaining an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and that targeting mPGES1 may enhance anti-tumor immune mechanisms.
Citation Format: Nune Markosyan, Andrew Rech, Robert Vonderheide. mPGES1 deletion increases tumor susceptibility to immune suppression [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr A094.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.