Diet-induced obesity alters dendritic cell function in the presence and absence of tumor growth

Britnie R. James, Ann Tomanek-Chalkley, Eric J. Askeland, Tamara A Kucaba, Thomas S. Griffith, Lyse A. Norian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Obesity is a mounting health concern in the United States and is associated with an increased risk for developing several cancers, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Despite this, little is known regarding the impact of obesity on antitumor immunity. Because dendritic cells (DC) are critical regulators of antitumor immunity, we examined the combined effects of obesity and tumor out-growth on DC function. Using a diet-induced obesity (DIO) model, DC function was evaluated in mice bearing orthotopic RCC and in tumor-free controls. Tumor-free DIO mice had profoundly altered serum cytokine and chemokine profiles, with upregulation of 15 proteins, including IL-1α, IL-17, and LIF. Tumor-free DIO mice had elevated percentages of conventional splenic DC that were impaired in their ability to stimulate naive T cell expansion, although they were phenotypically similar to normal weight (NW) controls. In DIO mice, intrarenal RCC tumor challenge in the absence of therapy led to increased local infiltration by T cell-suppressive DC and accelerated early tumor outgrowth. Following administration of a DC-dependent immunotherapy, established RCC tumors regressed in normal weight mice. The same immunotherapy was ineffective in DIO mice and was characterized by an accumulation of regulatory DC in tumor-bearing kidneys, decreased local infiltration by IFN-γ-producing CD8 T cells, and progressive tumor outgrowth. Our results suggest that the presence of obesity as a comorbidity can impair the efficacy of DC-dependent antitumor immunotherapies. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1321
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


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