Toll-Like Receptor 4 Expression on Lymphoma Cells Is Critical for Therapeutic Activity of Intratumoral Therapy With Synthetic TLR4 Agonist Glucopyranosyl Lipid A


Front Oncol. 2020 Aug 19;10:1438. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01438. eCollection 2020.


Intratumoral (IT) injections of Glucopyranosyl lipid A (G100), a synthetic toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist formulated in a stable emulsion, resulted in T-cell inflammation of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and complete cure of 60% of mice with large established A20 lymphomas. Strong abscopal effects on un-injected lesions were observed in a bilateral tumor model and surviving mice resisted a secondary tumor challenge. Depletion of CD8 T-cells, but not CD4 or NK cells, abrogated the

anti-tumor effect. Unexpectedly, TLR4 knock-out rendered A20 tumors completely non-responsive to G100. In vitro studies showed that GLA has direct effect on A20 cells, but not on A20 cells deficient for TLR4. As shown by genotyping and phenotyping analysis, G100 strongly activated antigen presentation functions in A20 cells in vitro and in vivo and induced their apoptosis in a dose dependent manner. Similarly, the TLR4 positive human mantle cell lymphoma line Mino showed in vitro activation with G100 that was blocked with an anti-TLR4 antibody. In the A20 model, direct activation of B-lymphoma cells with G100 is sufficient to induce protective CD8 T-cell responses and TLR4 expressing human B-cell lymphomas may be amenable to this therapy as well.