Research Papers:

CD4+ T cells play a crucial role for lenalidomide in vivo anti-tumor activity in murine multiple myeloma

Liang Zhang _, Enguang Bi, Sungyoul Hong, Jianfei Qian, Chengyun Zheng, Michael Wang and Qing Yi

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:36032-36040. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5506

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Liang Zhang1,*, Enguang Bi2,*, Sungyoul Hong1,3, Jianfei Qian1,2, Chengyun Zheng4, Michael Wang1, Qing Yi1,2

1Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, United States

2Deparment of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, United States

3Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

4Department of Hematology, Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, PR China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qing Yi, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: myeloma, 5TGM1, lenalidomide, immunomodulatory, CD4+ T cells

Received: August 05, 2015     Accepted: September 21, 2015     Published: October 03, 2015


Lenalidomide modulates the host immune response against myeloma via multiple actions. Although these effects have been elucidated in vitro, the central action of lenalidomide-mediated anti-myeloma immune response in vivo is not clear. To investigate its immune action in vivo, we selected the murine myeloma cell line 5TGM1, which is resistant to direct tumoricidal effects of lenalidomide in vitro and in immunodeficient mice, but sensitive to lenalidomide treatment in 5TGM1-bearing immunocompetent mice. Depletion of CD4+ T cells, but not NK cells, B cells, or CD8+ T cells, deprived lenalidomide of its therapeutic effects on 5TGM1-bearing immunocompetent mice. Lenalidomide significantly increased the numbers of IFN-γ-secreting CD4+ and CD8+ T cells but had no effects on NK cells and B cells in this mouse model. Lenalidomide slightly decreased the number of CD25+Foxp3+ T cells but increased perforin expression in CD8+ T cells in vivo. Using this mouse model for investigation of anti-tumor immune action of lenalidomide, we demonstrated that lenalidomide facilitated a type-1 anti-tumor immune response in vivo. The CD4+ T cell subset may play a critical role in the lenalidomide-mediated anti-myeloma immune response in vivo.

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