Programmed cell death-1: Programmed cell death-ligand 1 interaction protects human cardiomyocytes against T-cell mediated inflammation and apoptosis response in vitro

Woan Ting Tay, Yi Hsien Fang, Suet Theng Beh, Yen Wen Liu, Ling Wei Hsu, Chia Jui Yen, Ping Yen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim: Immunological checkpoint therapy is considered a powerful method for cancer therapy and acts by re-activating autologous T cells to kill the cancer cell. Myocarditis cases have been reported in cancer patients after immunological therapy; for example, nivolumab treatment is a monoclonal antibody that blocks programmed cell death-1/programmed cell death ligand-1 ligand interaction. This project provided insight into the inflammatory response as a benchmark to investigate the potential cardiotoxic effect of T cell response to the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) axis in regulating cardiomyocyte injury in vitro. Methods and Results: We investigated cardiomyopathy resulted from the PD-1/PD-L1 axis blockade using the anti-PD-1 antibody in Rockefeller University embryonic stem cells-derived cardiomyocytes (RUES2-CMs) and a melanoma tumor-bearing murine model. We found that nivolumab alone did not induce inflammatory-related proteins, including PD-L1 expression, and did not induce apoptosis, which was contrary to doxorubicin, a cardiotoxic chemotherapy drug. However, nivolumab was able to exacerbate the immune response by increasing cytokine and inflammatory gene expression in RUES2-CMs when co-cultured with CD4+ T lymphocytes and induced apoptosis. This effect was not observed when RUES2-CMs were co-cultured with CD8+ T lymphocytes. The in vivo model showed that the heart function of tumor-bearing mice was decreased after treatment with anti-PD-1 antibody and demonstrated a dilated left ventricle histological examination. The dilated left ventricle was associated with an infiltration of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes into the myocardium. PD-L1 and inflammatory-associated gene expression were significantly increased in anti-PD-1-treated tumor-bearing mice. Cleaved caspase-3 and mouse plasma cardiac troponin I expressions were increased significantly. Conclusion: PD-L1 expression on cardiomyocytes suppressed T-cell function. Blockade of PD-1 by nivolumab enhanced cardiomyocyte inflammation and apoptosis through the enhancement of T-cell response towards cardiomyocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2399
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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