The gut microbiota and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) affect tumor responses to anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint blockade. Reprogramming TAM by either blocking or deleting the macrophage receptor triggering receptor on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) attenuates tumor growth, and lack of functional TREM2 enhances tumor elimination by anti-PD-1. Here, we found that anti-PD-1 treatment combined with TREM2 deficiency in mice induces proinflammatory programs in intestinal macrophages and a concomitant expansion of Ruminococcus gnavus in the gut microbiota. Gavage of wild-type mice with R. gnavus enhanced anti-PD-1-mediated tumor elimination, recapitulating the effect occurring in the absence of TREM2. A proinflammatory intestinal environment coincided with expansion, increased circulation, and migration of TNF-producing CD4+ T cells to the tumor bed. Thus, TREM2 remotely controls anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade through modulation of the intestinal immune environment and microbiota, with R. gnavus emerging as a potential probiotic agent for increasing responsiveness to anti-PD-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)eadi5374
JournalScience immunology
Issue number95
StatePublished - May 17 2024


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