LIF regulates CXCL9 in tumor-associated macrophages and prevents CD8+ T cell tumor-infiltration impairing anti-PD1 therapy.


Cancer response to immunotherapy depends on the infiltration of CD8+ T cells and the presence of tumor-associated macrophages within tumors. Still, little is known about the determinants of these factors. We show that LIF assumes a crucial role in the regulation of CD8+ T cell tumor infiltration, while promoting the presence of protumoral tumor-associated macrophages. We observe that the blockade of LIF in tumors expressing high levels of LIF decreases CD206, CD163 and CCL2 and induces CXCL9 expression in tumor-associated macrophages. The blockade of LIF releases the epigenetic silencing of CXCL9 triggering CD8+ T cell tumor infiltration. The combination of LIF neutralizing antibodies with the inhibition of the PD1 immune checkpoint promotes tumor regression, immunological memory and an increase in overall survival.