CXCR5 CAR-T cells simultaneously target B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and tumor-supportive follicular T helper cells


  • M. Bunse
  • J. Pfeilschifter
  • J. Bluhm
  • M. Zschummel
  • J.J. Joedicke
  • A. Wirges
  • H. Stark
  • V. Kretschmer
  • M. Chmielewski
  • W. Uckert
  • H. Abken
  • J. Westermann
  • A. Rehm
  • U.E. Höpken


  • Nature Communications


  • Nat Commun 12 (1): 240


  • CAR-T cell therapy targeting CD19 demonstrated strong activity against advanced B cell leukemia, however shows less efficacy against lymphoma with nodal dissemination. To target both B cell Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHLs) and follicular T helper (Tfh) cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), we apply here a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that recognizes human CXCR5 with high avidity. CXCR5, physiologically expressed on mature B and Tfh cells, is also highly expressed on nodal B-NHLs. Anti-CXCR5 CAR-T cells eradicate B-NHL cells and lymphoma-supportive Tfh cells more potently than CD19 CAR-T cells in vitro, and they efficiently inhibit lymphoma growth in a murine xenograft model. Administration of anti-murine CXCR5 CAR-T cells in syngeneic mice specifically depletes endogenous and malignant B and Tfh cells without unexpected on-target/off-tumor effects. Collectively, anti-CXCR5 CAR-T cells provide a promising treatment strategy for nodal B-NHLs through the simultaneous elimination of lymphoma B cells and Tfh cells of the tumor-supporting TME.