Unconventional T-lymphocyte populations are emerging as important regulators of tumor immunity. Despite this, the role of TCRαβ+CD4-CD8-NK1.1- innate αβ T cells (iαβT) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has not been explored. We found that iαβTs represent ∼10% of T lymphocytes infiltrating PDA in mice and humans. Intratumoral iαβTs express a distinct T-cell receptor repertoire and profoundly immunogenic phenotype compared with their peripheral counterparts and conventional lymphocytes. iαβTs comprised ∼75% of the total intratumoral IL17+ cells. Moreover, iαβT-cell adoptive transfer is protective in both murine models of PDA and human organotypic systems. We show that iαβT cells induce a CCR5-dependent immunogenic macrophage reprogramming, thereby enabling marked CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell expansion/activation and tumor protection. Collectively, iαβTs govern fundamental intratumoral cross-talk between innate and adaptive immune populations and are attractive therapeutic targets. SIGNIFICANCE: We found that iαβTs are a profoundly activated T-cell subset in PDA that slow tumor growth in murine and human models of disease. iαβTs induce a CCR5-dependent immunogenic tumor-associated macrophage program, T-cell activation and expansion, and should be considered as novel targets for immunotherapy.
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