Scientific Literature

Fibroblast Heterogeneity and Immunosuppressive Environment in Human Breast Cancer


A. Costa, Y. Kieffer, A. Scholer-Dahirel, F. Pelon, B. Bourachot, M. Cardon, P. Sirven I. Magagna, L. Fuhrmann, C. Bernard, C. Bonneau, M. Kondratova, I. Kuperstein, A. Zinovyev, A.-M. Givel, M.-C. Parrini, V. Soumelis, A. Vincent-Salomon, F. Mechta-Grigoriou , Cancer Cell , DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.01.011

Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAF) are key players in the tumor microenvironment. Here, we characterize four CAF subsets in breast cancer with distinct properties and levels of activation. Two myofibroblastic subsets (CAF-S1, CAF-S4) accumulate differentially in triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). CAF-S1 fibroblasts promote an immunosuppressive environment through a multi-step mechanism. By secreting CXCL12, CAF-S1 attracts CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes and retains them by OX40L, PD-L2, and JAM2. Moreover, CAF-S1 increases T lymphocyte survival and promotes their differentiation into CD25HighFOXP3High, through B7H3, CD73, and DPP4. Finally, in contrast to CAF-S4, CAF-S1 enhances the regulatory T cell capacity to inhibit T effector proliferation. These data are consistent with FOXP3+ T lymphocyte accumulation in CAF-S1-enriched TNBC and show how a CAF subset contributes to immunosuppression.