Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are reportedly associated with the progression of many tumors. However, the role of ILC2s in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) lung metastasis remains unclear. In this study, we found that ILC2s may be a key element in the process of TNBC lung metastasis since the adoptive transfer of pulmonary ILC2s increased the numbers of metastatic lung nodules and reduced the survival of tumor-bearing mice. ILC2-promoted 4 T1 lung metastasis appears to be related to ILC2-derived IL-13. An expansion of IL-13-producing ILC2s and an elevated expression of IL-13 mRNA in pulmonary ILC2s were determined in tumor-bearing mice, in parallel with an increase in the levels of local IL-13 by ILC2 transfer. The neutralization of IL-13 reduced the increased pulmonary metastatic nodules and improved the decreased survival rate caused by ILC2-adoptive transfer. Interestingly, adoptive transfer of ILC2s elevated IL-13Ra1 expression in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Treatment of ILC2-transferred tumor-bearing mice with anti-IL-13 antibodies significantly diminished the number of pulmonary MDSCs and inhibited MDSC activation. Moreover, when pulmonary MDSCs were cocultured with ILC2s in the presence of an anti-IL-13 mAb, the number and activation of MDSCs were reduced. Depletion of MDSCs may promote the proliferation of CD4 T cells and CD8 T cells, but reduce the expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the lungs of ILC2-transferred tumor-bearing mice. Our results suggest that pulmonary ILC2s may promote TNBC lung metastasis via the ILC2-derived IL-13-activated MDSC pathway.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.