IL-33 Promotes CD11b/CD18-Mediated Adhesion of Eosinophils to Cancer Cells and Synapse-Polarized Degranulation Leading to Tumor Cell Killing

Sara Andreone, Francesca Spadaro, Carla Buccione, Jacopo Mancini, Antonella Tinari, Paola Sestili, Adriana Rosa Gambardella, Valeria Lucarini, Giovanna Ziccheddu, Isabella Parolini, Cristiana Zanetti, Maria Teresa D'Urso, Adele De Ninno, Luca Businaro, Claudia Afferni, Fabrizio Mattei, Giovanna Schiavoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Eosinophils are major effectors of Th2-related pathologies, frequently found infiltrating several human cancers. We recently showed that eosinophils play an essential role in anti-tumor responses mediated by immunotherapy with the 'alarmin' intereukin-33 (IL-33) in melanoma mouse models. Here, we analyzed the mechanisms by which IL-33 mediates tumor infiltration and antitumor activities of eosinophils. We show that IL-33 recruits eosinophils indirectly, via stimulation of tumor cell-derived chemokines, while it activates eosinophils directly, up-regulating CD69, the adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and CD11b/CD18, and the degranulation marker CD63. In co-culture experiments with four different tumor cell lines, IL-33-activated eosinophils established large numbers of stable cell conjugates with target tumor cells, with the polarization of eosinophil effector proteins (ECP, EPX, and granzyme-B) and CD11b/CD18 to immune synapses, resulting in efficient contact-dependent degranulation and tumor cell killing. In tumor-bearing mice, IL-33 induced substantial accumulation of degranulating eosinophils within tumor necrotic areas, indicating cytotoxic activity in vivo. Blocking of CD11b/CD18 signaling significantly reduced IL-33-activated eosinophils' binding and subsequent killing of tumor cells, indicating a crucial role for this integrin in triggering degranulation. Our findings provide novel mechanistic insights for eosinophil-mediated anti-tumoral function driven by IL-33. Treatments enabling tumor infiltration and proper activation of eosinophils may improve therapeutic response in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancers
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2019

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