Microbiome-derived inosine modulates response to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy
Several species of intestinal bacteria have been associated with enhanced efficacy of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, but the underlying mechanisms by which the microbiome enhances anti-tumor immunity is unclear. Here, we isolated three bacterial species, including Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, Lactobacillus johnsonii and Olsenella species, that significantly enhanced efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in four mouse models of cancer. We found that intestinal B. pseudolongum modulated enhanced immunotherapy response through production of the metabolite inosine. Decreased gut barrier function induced by immunotherapy increased systemic translocation of inosine and activated anti-tumor T cells. The effect of inosine was dependent on T cell expression of the adenosine A2A receptor and required co-stimulation. Collectively, our study identifies a novel microbial metabolite-immune pathway that is activated by immunotherapy that may be exploited to develop microbial-based adjuvant therapies.