bims-stacyt Biomed News
on Paracrine crosstalk between cancer and the organism
Issue of 2021‒05‒09
two papers selected by
Cristina Muñoz Pinedo
L’Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

  1. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 May 01.
      BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) play an important role in the maintenance of immune and metabolic homeostasis in adipose tissue (AT). The crosstalk between AT ILCs and adipocytes and other immune cells coordinates adipocyte differentiation, beiging, glucose metabolism and inflammation. Although the metabolic and homeostatic functions of mouse ILCs have been extensively investigated, little is known about human adipose ILCs and their roles in obesity and insulin resistance (IR).SUBJECTS/METHODS: Here we characterized T and NK cell populations in omental AT (OAT) from women (n = 18) with morbid obesity and varying levels of IR and performed an integrated analysis of metabolic parameters and adipose tissue transcriptomics.
    RESULTS: In OAT, we found a distinct population of CD56-NKp46+EOMES+ NK cells characterized by expression of cytotoxic molecules, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and markers of cell activation. AT IFNγ+ NK cells, but not CD4, CD8 or γδ T cells, were positively associated with glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and IR. AT NK cells were linked to a pro-inflammatory gene expression profile in AT and developed an effector phenotype in response to IL-12 and IL-15. Moreover, integrated transcriptomic analysis revealed a potential implication of AT IFNγ+ NK cells in controlling adipose tissue inflammation, remodeling, and lipid metabolism.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that a distinct IFNγ-producing NK cell subset is involved in metabolic homeostasis in visceral AT in humans with obesity and may be a potential target for therapy of IR.
  2. Front Immunol. 2021 ;12 624324
      Cancer cells are metabolically vigorous and are superior in the uptake of nutrients and in the release of the tumor microenvironment (TME)-specific metabolites. They create an acidic, hypoxic, and nutrient-depleted TME that makes it difficult for the cytotoxic immune cells to adapt to the metabolically hostile environment. Since a robust metabolism in immune cells is required for optimal anti-tumor effector functions, the challenges caused by the TME result in severe defects in the invasion and destruction of the established tumors. There have been many recent developments in NK and T cell-mediated immunotherapy, such as engineering them to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to enhance tumor-recognition and infiltration. However, to defeat the tumor and overcome the limitations of the TME, it is essential to fortify these novel therapies by improving the metabolism of the immune cells. One potential strategy to enhance the metabolic fitness of immune cells is to upregulate the expression of nutrient transporters, specifically glucose and amino acid transporters. In particular, the amino acid transporters SLC1A5 and SLC7A5 as well as the ancillary subunit SLC3A2, which are required for efficient uptake of glutamine and leucine respectively, could strengthen the metabolic capabilities and effector functions of tumor-directed CAR-NK and T cells. In addition to enabling the influx and efflux of essential amino acids through the plasma membrane and within subcellular compartments such as the lysosome and the mitochondria, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the amino acid transporters participate in sensing amino acid levels and thereby activate mTORC1, a master metabolic regulator that promotes cell metabolism, and induce the expression of c-Myc, a transcription factor essential for cell growth and proliferation. In this review, we discuss the regulatory pathways of these amino acid transporters and how we can take advantage of these processes to strengthen immunotherapy against cancer.
    Keywords:  SLC1A5; SLC3A2; SLC7A5; anti-tumor immunity; immunometabolism; natural killer cells; nutrient transporters; tumor microenvironment