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96 Role of Mir-29b in T-Cell Development and in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Pathogenesis

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Type: Oral
Session: 203. Lymphocytes, Lymphocyte Activation, and Immunodeficiency, including HIV and Other Infections: Pathogenesis and Immunotherapy
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Diseases, Lymphoma (any), Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, T-Cell Lymphoma, Lymphoid Malignancies
Saturday, December 5, 2020: 10:15 AM

Anthony Mansour, MD1*, David Clever2*, Colleen Isabelle3*, Amy E Boles, BS3*, Kathleen McConnell3*, Zhiyao Li1*, Logan A Chrislip2*, Michael A. Caligiuri, MD1 and Anjali Mishra, PhD3

1City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA
2The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
3Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

The role of microRNA (miR) is rapidly advancing with numerous functions discovered in cancer pathogenesis. We had previously shown a significant decrease in miR-29b levels in malignant cells isolated from peripheral blood of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) (Kohnken et al. Blood, 2018). Replenishing miR-29b levels in vitro induced apoptosis in leukemic cells suggesting its role as tumor suppressor miR in CTCL patients. In this study, we focused on the role of mir-29b on early T-cell development and homeostasis using the miR-29b-/- mouse model. Using knockout mouse model, we show that the homozygous deletion of miR-29b locus results in an overall decrease in T-cell numbers and density in primary and secondary lymphoid organs. We observed an early thymic involution in miR-29b-/- mice, with a 5-fold decrease in the total number of thymocytes and altered T-cell development. Using the surface expression of CD25 and CD44 on double-negative (DN) cells, we observed significant decrease of the absolute counts in the four early differentiation stages (DN1-4) in miR-29b-/- mice compared to age-matched wild-type (WT) mice: DN1 (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 4.5 x 105 ± 1.04 vs. 1.12 x 105 ± 0.201, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.05); DN2 (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 0.83 x 105 ± 0.07 vs. 0.051 x 105 ± 0.021, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.001); DN3 (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 4.05 x 105 ± 0.38 vs. 0.54 x 105 ± 0.16, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.001) and DN4 (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 2.871 x 105 ± 0.578 x 105 vs. 0.569 ± 0.14, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.01). Furthermore, miR-29b-/- mice show a significant increase in regulatory T cells in comparison to WT mice in the spleen (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 18.48 ± 0.89 vs. 10.89 ± 0.41, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.001) thymus (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 5.80 ± 0.44 vs. 3.65 ± 0.004, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.01) and bone marrow (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 50.04 ± 3.14 vs. 37.52 ± 3.29, N=4 and 6 respectively, p < 0.05). Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), we found a framework of putative genes in miR-29b deficient T-cells that overlap with CTCL pathogenesis: Ccr7, Cd69, Cd74, and Lef-1. Among thymic T cells, Ccr7 affects physiologic homing of T-cells to lymph nodes and facilitate nodal metastasis in CTCL patients. As T-cells progenitors originate from the bone marrow, we observed a severe impairment in the progenitor cell population in miR-29b-/- mice and over 4-fold reduction in the absolute number of Lin-Sca1+ckit+ cell (miR-29b-/- vs. WT: 28.42 x 103 ± 4.13 vs. 5.98 x 103 ± 1.01, N=4 and 3 respectively, p < 0.01). Using the surface expression of CD48 and CD150 on Lin-Sca1+ckit+, we observed a significant decrease in hematopoietic stem cells and multipotent progenitor cells in miR-29b-/- mice. Since impairment in T-cells development can be linked to hematopoietic stem cell defects, we interrogated the engraftment capacity of Lin-Sca1+ckit+ cells into committed cell lineages in vivo. To evaluate whether the defect in T-cells development is due to reduced ability of precursor cells, we performed transplantation of Lin-Sca1+ckit+ cells from the bone marrow of miR-29b and WT (CD45.1) mice in lethally irradiated WT (CD45.2) mice. Our results show a significant reduction in T-cells reconstitution in mice transplanted with miR-29b-/- Lin-Sca1+ckit+ cells versus the bone marrow counterpart. These deficits in T-cells populations were observed in peripheral blood, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow in miR-29b-/- transplanted mice. ScRNA-seq profiling of Lin- bone marrow cells show significant changes in miR-29b-/- and WT mice. Among the upregulated genes in the mir-29b-/- mice, several genes showed greater than a 10-fold increase in the thymus (Ifna2, Zmynd10, Plekha4, Etl4, and Gm38004). In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of mir-29b in early defects in T-cells development and help us understand the complex miR-29b regulated cellular transformation machinery in CTCL pathogenesis, thus paving path to develop novel therapeutic approaches targeting miR-29b in CTCL therapy.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH