Intratumoral T-cell dysfunction is a hallmark of pancreatic tumors, and efforts to improve dendritic cell (DC)–mediated T-cell activation may be critical in treating these immune therapy unresponsive tumors. Recent evidence indicates that mechanisms that induce dysfunction of type 1 conventional DCs (cDC1) in pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PDAC) are drivers of the lack of responsiveness to checkpoint immunotherapy. However, the impact of PDAC on systemic type 2 cDC2 development and function has not been well studied. Herein, we report the analysis of 3 cohorts, totaling 106 samples, of human blood and bone marrow (BM) from patients with PDAC for changes in cDCs. We found that circulating cDC2s and their progenitors were significantly decreased in the blood of patients with PDAC, and repressed numbers of cDC2s were associated with poor prognosis. Serum cytokine analyses identified IL6 as significantly elevated in patients with PDAC and negatively correlated with cDC numbers. In vitro, IL6 impaired the differentiation of cDC1s and cDC2s from BM progenitors. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of human cDC progenitors in the BM and blood of patients with PDAC showed an upregulation of the IL6/STAT3 pathway and a corresponding impairment of antigen processing and presentation. These results suggested that cDC2s were systemically suppressed by inflammatory cytokines, which was linked to impaired antitumor immunity.

You do not currently have access to this content.