5 years ago

Oncolytic virotherapy blockade by microglia and macrophages requires STAT1/3.

William Jia, Zahid M Delwar, Paul S Rennie, Yan H Wen, Yvonne Kuo
The first oncolytic virotherapy employing HSV-1 (oHSV-1) was approved recently by the FDA to treat cancer, but further improvements in efficacy are needed to eradicate challenging refractory tumors such as glioblastomas (GBM). Microglia/macrophages comprising ~40% of a GBM tumor may limit virotherapeutic efficacy. Here we show these cells suppress oHSV-1 growth in gliomas by internalizing the virus through phagocytosis. Internalized virus remained capable of expressing reporter genes while viral replication was blocked. Macrophage/microglia formed a nonpermissive OV barrier, preventing dissemination of oHSV-1 in the glioma mass. The deficiency in viral replication in microglial cells was associated with silencing of particular viral genes. Phosphorylation of STAT1/3 was determined to be responsible for suppressing oHSV-1 replication in macrophages/microglia. Treatment with the oxindole/imidazole derivative C16 rescued oHSV-1 replication in microglia/macrophages by inhibiting STAT1/3 activity. In the U87 xenograft model of GBM, C16 treatment overcame the microglia/macrophage barrier, thereby facilitating tumor regression without causing a spread of the virus to normal organs. Collectively, our results suggest a strategy to relieve a STAT1/3 dependent therapeutic barrier and enhance oHSV-1 oncolytic activity in GBM.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0599

DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0599

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