Human gut microbial communities dictate efficacy of anti-PD-1 therapy in a humanized microbiome mouse model of glioma.

Academic Article


  • Background: Although immunotherapy works well in glioblastoma (GBM) preclinical mouse models, the therapy has not demonstrated efficacy in humans. To address this anomaly, we developed a novel humanized microbiome (HuM) model to study the response to immunotherapy in a preclinical mouse model of GBM. Methods: We used 5 healthy human donors for fecal transplantation of gnotobiotic mice. After the transplanted microbiomes stabilized, the mice were bred to generate 5 independent humanized mouse lines (HuM1-HuM5). Results: Analysis of shotgun metagenomic sequencing data from fecal samples revealed a unique microbiome with significant differences in diversity and microbial composition among HuM1-HuM5 lines. All HuM mouse lines were susceptible to GBM transplantation, and exhibited similar median survival ranging from 19 to 26 days. Interestingly, we found that HuM lines responded differently to the immune checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD-1. Specifically, we demonstrate that HuM1, HuM4, and HuM5 mice are nonresponders to anti-PD-1, while HuM2 and HuM3 mice are responsive to anti-PD-1 and displayed significantly increased survival compared to isotype controls. Bray-Curtis cluster analysis of the 5 HuM gut microbial communities revealed that responders HuM2 and HuM3 were closely related, and detailed taxonomic comparison analysis revealed that Bacteroides cellulosilyticus was commonly found in HuM2 and HuM3 with high abundances. Conclusions: The results of our study establish the utility of humanized microbiome mice as avatars to delineate features of the host interaction with gut microbial communities needed for effective immunotherapy against GBM.
  • Keywords

  • GL261, anti-PD-1, glioblastoma, immunotherapy, microbiome
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dees KJ; Koo H; Humphreys JF; Hakim JA; Crossman DK; Crowley MR; Nabors LB; Benveniste EN; Morrow CD; McFarland BC
  • Start Page

  • vdab023
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 1