P Karagiannis, AE Gilbert, DH Josephs, N Ali, T Dodev, L Saul, I Correa, L Roberts, E Beddowes, A Koers, C Hobbs, S Ferreira, JLC Geh, C Healy, M Harries, KM Acland, PJ Blower, T Mitchell, DJ Fear, JF Spicer, KE Lacy, FO Nestle, SN Karagiannis
J Clin Invest
Host-induced antibodies and their contributions to cancer inflammation are largely unexplored. IgG4 subclass antibodies are present in IL-10-driven Th2 immune responses in some inflammatory conditions. Since Th2-biased inflammation is a hallmark of tumor microenvironments, we investigated the presence and functional implications of IgG4 in malignant melanoma. Consistent with Th2 inflammation, CD22+ B cells and IgG4(+)-infiltrating cells accumulated in tumors, and IL-10, IL-4, and tumor-reactive IgG4 were expressed in situ. When compared with B cells from patient lymph nodes and blood, tumor-associated B cells were polarized to produce IgG4. Secreted B cells increased VEGF and IgG4, and tumor cells enhanced IL-10 secretion in cocultures. Unlike IgG1, an engineered tumor antigen-specific IgG4 was ineffective in triggering effector cell-mediated tumor killing in vitro. Antigen-specific and nonspecific IgG4 inhibited IgG1-mediated tumoricidal functions. IgG4 blockade was mediated through reduction of FcγRI activation. Additionally, IgG4 significantly impaired the potency of tumoricidal IgG1 in a human melanoma xenograft mouse model. Furthermore, serum IgG4 was inversely correlated with patient survival. These findings suggest that IgG4 promoted by tumor-induced Th2-biased inflammation may restrict effector cell functions against tumors, providing a previously unexplored aspect of tumor-induced immune escape and a basis for biomarker development and patient-specific therapeutic approaches.