Although IL-9 has potent anti-tumor activity in adoptive cell transfer therapy, some models suggest that it can promote tumor growth. Here, we show that IL-9 signaling is associated with poor outcomes in patients with various forms of lung cancer, and is required for lung tumor growth in multiple mouse models. CD4+ T cell-derived IL-9 promotes the expansion of both CD11c+ and CD11c− interstitial macrophage populations in lung tumor models. Mechanistically, the IL-9/macrophage axis requires arginase 1 (Arg1) to mediate tumor growth. Indeed, adoptive transfer of Arg1+ but not Arg1- lung macrophages to Il9r−/− mice promotes tumor growth. Moreover, targeting IL-9 signaling using macrophage-specific nanoparticles restricts lung tumor growth in mice. Lastly, elevated expression of IL-9R and Arg1 in tumor lesions is associated with poor prognosis in lung cancer patients. Thus, our study suggests the IL-9/macrophage/Arg1 axis is a potential therapeutic target for lung cancer therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)