Tumor growth is intimately linked with stromal interactions. Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are dramatically elevated in cancer patients and tumor bearing mice. MDSCs modulate the tumor microenvironment through attenuating host immune response and increasing vascularization.
In searching for molecular mediators responsible for pro-tumor functions, we found that regulator of G protein signaling-2 (Rgs2) is highly increased in tumor-derived MDSCs compared to control MDSCs. We further demonstrate that hypoxia, a common feature associated with solid tumors, upregulates the gene expression. Genetic deletion of Rgs2 in mice resulted in a significant retardation of tumor growth, and the tumors exhibit decreased vascular density and increased cell death. Interestingly, deletion of Rgs2 in MDSCs completely abolished their tumor promoting function, suggesting that Rgs2 signaling in MDSCs is responsible for the tumor promoting function. Cytokine array profiling identified that Rgs2−/− tumor MDSCs produce less MCP-1, leading to decreased angiogenesis, which could be restored with addition of recombinant MCP-1.
Our data reveal Rgs2 as a critical regulator of the pro-angiogenic function of MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment, through regulating MCP-1 production.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a major component of the immune suppressive network described in cancer and many other pathological conditions. Recent studies have demonstrated that one of the major mechanisms of MDSC-induced immune suppression is mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, the mechanism of this phenomenon remained unknown. In this study we observed a substantial up-regulation of ROS by MDSC in all of seven different tumor models and in patients with head and neck cancer. The increased ROS production by MDSC is mediated by up-regulated activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX2). MDSC from tumor-bearing mice had significantly higher expression of NOX2 subunits, primarily p47phox and gp91phox, compared to immature myeloid cells from tumor-free mice. Expression of NOX2 subunits in MDSC was controlled by the STAT3 transcription factor. In the absence of NOX2 activity, MDSC lost the ability to suppress T-cell responses and quickly differentiated into mature macrophages and dendritic cells. These findings expand our fundamental understanding of the biology of MDSC and may also open new opportunities for therapeutic regulation of these cells in cancer.
tumor immunity; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; reactive oxygen species; tolerance/suppression
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulate in the spleen and tumors and contribute to tumor growth, angiogenesis and progression. In this study, we examined the effects of curcumin on the activation and differentiation of MDSCs, their interaction with human cancer cells and related tumor growth. Treatment with curcumin in the diet or by i.p. injection significantly inhibited tumorigenecity and tumor growth, decreased the percentages of MDSCs in the spleen, blood and tumor tissues, reduced IL-6 levels in the serum and tumor tissues in a human gastric cancer xenograft model and a mouse colon cancer allograft model. Curcumin treatment significantly inhibited cell proliferation and colony formation of cancer cells and decreased the secretion of murine interleukin (IL)-6 by MDSCs in a co-culture system. Curcumin treatment inhibited the expansion of MDSCs, the activation of Stat3 and NF-κB in MDSCs, and the secretion of IL-6 by MDSCs when MDSCs were cultured in the presence of IL-1β, or with cancer cell- or myofibroblast-conditioned medium. Furthermore, curcumin treatment polarized MDSCs toward a M1-like phenotype with an increased expression of CCR7 and decreased expression of dectin 1 in vivo and in vitro. Our results demonstrate that curcumin inhibits the accumulation of MDSCs and their interaction with cancer cells and induces the differentiation of MDSCs. The induction of MDSC differentiation and inhibition of the interaction of MDSCs with cancer cells are potential strategies for cancer prevention and therapy.
Curcumin; MDSCs; gastric cancer; colon cancer; tumor growth
Chronic inflammation is associated with promotion of malignancy and tumor progression. Many tumors enhance the accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which contribute to tumor progression and growth by suppressing anti-tumor immune responses. Tumor-derived IL-1β secreted into the tumor microenvironment has been shown to induce the accumulation of MDSC possessing an enhanced capacity to suppress T cells. In this study, we found that the enhanced suppressive potential of IL-1β-induced MDSC was due to the activity of a novel subset of MDSC lacking Ly6C expression. This subset was present at low frequency in tumor-bearing mice in the absence of IL-1β-induced inflammation; however, under inflammatory conditions Ly6Cneg MDSC were predominant. Ly6Cneg MDSC impaired NK cell development and functions in vitro and in vivo. These results identify a novel IL-1β-induced subset of MDSC with unique functional properties. Ly6Cneg MDSC mediating NK cell suppression may thus represent useful targets for therapeutic interventions.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous group of cells that play a critical role in tumor associated immune suppression. In an attempt to identify a specific subset of MDSC primarily responsible for immunosuppressive features of these cells, 10 different tumor models were investigated. All models showed variable but significant increase in the population of MDSC. Variability of MDSC expansion in vivo matched closely the effect of tumor-cell condition media (TCCM) in vitro. MDSC consists of two major subsets of Ly6G+Ly6Clow granulocytic and Ly6G-Ly6Chigh monocytic cells. Granulocytic MDSC have increased level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and undetectable level of nitric oxide (NO) whereas monocytic MDSC had increased level of NO but undetectable levels of ROS. However, their suppressive activity per cell basis was comparable. Almost all tumor models demonstrated a preferential expansion of granulocytic subset of MDSC. We performed a phenotypical and functional analysis of several surface molecules previously suggested to be involved in MDSC mediated suppression of T cells: CD115, CD124, CD80, PD-L1, and PD-L2. Although substantial proportion of MDSC expressed those molecules no differences in the level of their expression or the proportion, positive cells were found between MDSC and cells from tumor-free mice that lack immune suppressive activity. The level of MDSC mediated T-cell suppression did not depend on the expression of these molecules. This data indicates that suppressive features of MDSC is caused not by expansion of a specific subset but more likely represents a functional state of these cells.
rodent; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; tumor immunity
The anti-angiogenic drug sunitinib is a receptor tyrosine-kinase inhibitor with significant, yet not curative, therapeutic impacts in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Sunitinib is also an immunomodulator, potently reversing myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) accumulation and T-cell inhibition in the blood even of non-responder RCC patients. We observed that sunitinib similarly prevented MDSC accumulation and restored normal T-cell function to spleens of tumor-bearing mice, independent of sunitinib's capacity to inhibit tumor progression (RENCA>CT26>4T1). Both monocytic and neutrophilic splenic MDSC were highly repressible by sunitinib. In contrast, MDSC within the microenvironment of 4T1 tumors or human RCC tumors proved highly resistant to sunitinib, and ambient T-cell function remained suppressed. Proteomic analyses comparing tumor to peripheral compartments demonstrated that GM-CSF predicted sunitinib resistance, and recombinant GM-CSF conferred sunitinib resistance to MDSC in vivo and in vitro. MDSC conditioning with GM-CSF uniquely inhibited STAT3 and promoted STAT5 activation, and STAT5ab(null/null) MDSC were rendered sensitive to sunitinib in the presence of GM-CSF in vitro. We conclude that compartment-dependent GM-CSF exposure in resistant tumors may account for sunitinib's regionalized impact upon host MDSC modulation, and hypothesize that ancillary strategies to decrease such regionalization will enhance sunitinib's potency as an immunomodulator and a cancer therapy.
RCC; myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC); sunitinib; STAT; GM-CSF
The involvement of complement activation products in promoting tumor growth has not yet been recognized. Here we show that generation of complement C5a in the tumor microenvironment enhanced tumor growth by suppressing the anti-tumor CD8+ T cell-mediated response. This suppression was associated with the recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) into tumors and augmentation of their T cell-directed suppressive capabilities. Amplification of MDSC suppressive capacity by C5a occurred through regulation of the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Pharmacological blockade of C5a receptor significantly impaired tumor growth to a degree comparable to the effect produced by the anti-cancer drug Taxol. Thus, this study demonstrates a therapeutic role for complement inhibition in the treatment of cancer.
Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of cells that accumulate during tumor formation, facilitate immune escape and enable tumor progression. MDSC are important contributors to the development of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that blocks the action of cytotoxic anti-tumor T effector cells. Heterogeneity in these cells poses a significant barrier to studying the in vivo contributions of individual MDSC subtypes. Herein, we demonstrate that granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a cytokine critical for the numeric and functional development of MDSC populations, promotes expansion of a monocyte-derived MDSC population characterized by expression of CD11b and the chemokine receptor CCR2. Utilizing a toxin mediated ablation strategy to target CCR2-expressing cells, we show that these monocytic MDSCs regulate entry of activated CD8 T cells into the tumor site, thereby limiting the efficacy of immunotherapy. Our results argue that therapeutic targeting of monocytic MDSCs would enhance outcomes in immunotherapy.
Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor; Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells; CC Chemokine Receptor 2; Melanoma
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), identified as Gr1+CD11b+ cells in mice, expand during cancer and promote tumor growth, recurrence and burden. However, little is known about their role in bone metastases. We hypothesized that MDSCs may contribute to tumor-induced bone disease, and inoculated breast cancer cells into the left cardiac ventricle of nude mice. Disease progression was monitored weekly by X-ray and fluorescence imaging and MDSCs expansion by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. To explore the contribution of MDSCs to bone metastasis, we co-injected mice with tumor cells or PBS into the left cardiac ventricle and Gr1+CD11b+ cells isolated from healthy or tumor-bearing mice into the left tibia. MDSCs didn’t induce bone resorption in normal mice, but increased resorption and tumor burden significantly in tumor-bearing mice. In vitro experiments showed that Gr1+CD11b+ cells isolated from normal and tumor-bearing mice differentiate into osteoclasts when cultured with RANK ligand and macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and that MDSCs from tumor-bearing mice upregulate parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) mRNA levels in cancer cells. PTHrP upregulation is likely due to the 2-fold increase in transforming growth factor β expression that we observed in MDSCs isolated from tumor-bearing mice. Importantly, using MDSCs isolated from GFP-expressing animals, we found that MDSCs differentiate into osteoclast-like cells in tumor-bearing mice as evidenced by the presence of GFP+TRAP+ cells. These results demonstrate that MDSCs expand in breast cancer bone metastases and induce bone destruction. Furthermore, our data strongly suggest that MDSCs are able to differentiate into osteoclasts in vivo and that this is stimulated in the presence of tumors.
TGFβ; bone metastasis; breast cancer; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs); osteoclasts PTHrP
Tumor-induced immunosuppression plays a key role in tumor evasion of the immune system. A key cell population recognized as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) contributes and helps orchestrate this immunosuppression. MDSC can interact with T cells, macrophages, and NK cells, to create an environment favorable for tumor progression. In various tumor models their presence at high levels has been reported in the bone marrow, blood, spleen, and tumor. We report for the first time that MDSC accumulate and home to the liver in addition to the other organs. Liver MDSC suppress T cells and accumulate to levels comparable to splenic MDSC. Additionally, hematopoiesis in the liver contributes to the dramatic expansion of MDSC in this organ. Furthermore, MDSC in the liver interact with macrophages, also known as Kupffer cells, and cause their up-regulation of PD-L1, a negative T cell costimulatory molecule. The liver is thus an organ where MDSC accumulate and can contribute to immunosuppression directly and indirectly. MDSC play a role in various pathological states in addition to cancer, and these results contribute to our understanding of their biology and interactions with immune-related cells.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) induced during neoplasia display potent pro-tumorigenic activities. Tumor-derived factors influence MDSC development, yielding monocytic and granulocytic subsets. In contrast to monocytic MDSC, little is known about how granulocytic MDSC develop. We demonstrated that tumor-derived G-CSF drives granulocytic MDSC formation, thus providing new insights into myeloid-tumor biology.
Immunosuppression; immunosurveillance; inflammation and cancer; myeloid-derived suppressor Cells; tumor progression
The tumor microenvironment contains a vast array of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines that alter myelopoiesis and lead to the maturation of immunosuppressive cells known as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Incubating bone marrow (BM) precursors with a combination of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) generated a tumor-infiltrating MDSC-like population that impaired anti-tumor specific T-cell functions. This in vitro experimental approach was used to simulate MDSC maturation, and the cellular metabolic response was then monitored. A complementary experimental model that inhibited L-arginine (L-Arg) metabolizing enzymes in MSC-1 cells, an immortalized cell line derived from primary MDSCs, was used to study the metabolic events related to immunosuppression.
Exposure of BM cells to GM-CSF and IL-6 activated, within 24 h, L-Arg metabolizing enzymes which are responsible for the MDSCs immunosuppressive potential. This was accompanied by an increased uptake of L-glutamine (L-Gln) and glucose, the latter being metabolized by anaerobic glycolysis. The up-regulation of nutrient uptake lead to the accumulation of TCA cycle intermediates and lactate as well as the endogenous synthesis of L-Arg and the production of energy-rich nucleotides. Moreover, inhibition of L-Arg metabolism in MSC-1 cells down-regulated central carbon metabolism activity, including glycolysis, glutaminolysis and TCA cycle activity, and led to a deterioration of cell bioenergetic status. The simultaneous increase of cell specific concentrations of ATP and a decrease in ATP-to-ADP ratio in BM-derived MDSCs suggested cells were metabolically active during maturation. Moreover, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was activated during MDSC maturation in GM-CSF and IL-6–treated cultures, as revealed by the continuous increase of AMP-to-ATP ratios and the phosphorylation of AMPK. Likewise, AMPK activity was decreased in MSC-1 cells when L-Arg metabolizing enzymes were inhibited. Finally, inhibition of AMPK activity by the specific inhibitor Compound C (Comp-C) resulted in the inhibition of L-Arg metabolizing enzyme activity and abolished MDSCs immunosuppressive activity.
We anticipate that the inhibition of AMPK and the control of metabolic fluxes may be considered as a novel therapeutic target for the recovery of the immunosurveillance process in cancer-bearing hosts.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; GM-CSF; IL-6; MSC-1 cells; Central carbon metabolism; Bioenergetics
Accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) associated with inhibition of dendritic cell (DC) differentiation is one of the major immunological abnormalities in cancer and leads to suppression of antitumor immune responses. The molecular mechanism of this phenomenon remains unclear. We report here that STAT3-inducible up-regulation of the myeloid-related protein S100A9 enhances MDSC production in cancer. Mice lacking this protein mounted potent antitumor immune responses and rejected implanted tumors. This effect was reversed by administration of wild-type MDSCs from tumor-bearing mice to S100A9-null mice. Overexpression of S100A9 in cultured embryonic stem cells or transgenic mice inhibited the differentiation of DCs and macrophages and induced accumulation of MDSCs. This study demonstrates that tumor-induced up-regulation of S100A9 protein is critically important for accumulation of MDSCs and reveals a novel molecular mechanism of immunological abnormalities in cancer.
Many cancer immunotherapies developed in experimental animals have been tested in clinical trials. Although some have shown modest clinical effects, most have not been effective. Recent studies have identified myeloid-origin cells that are potent suppressors of tumor immunity and therefore a significant impediment to cancer immunotherapy. “Myeloid-derived suppressor cells” (MDSC) accumulate in the blood, lymph nodes, and bone marrow and at tumor sites in most patients and experimental animals with cancer and inhibit both adaptive and innate immunity. MDSC are induced by tumor-secreted and host-secreted factors, many of which are proinflammatory molecules. The induction of MDSC by proinflammatory mediators led to the hypothesis that inflammation promotes the accumulation of MDSC that down-regulate immune surveillance and antitumor immunity, thereby facilitating tumor growth. This article reviews the characterization and suppressive mechanisms used by MDSC to block tumor immunity and describes the mechanisms by which inflammation promotes tumor progression through the induction of MDSC.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have been identified in humans and mice as a population of immature myeloid cells with the ability to suppress T cell activation. They accumulate in tumor-bearing mice and humans and have been shown to contribute to cancer development. Here, we have isolated tumor-derived exosomes (TDEs) from mouse cell lines and shown that an interaction between TDE-associated Hsp72 and MDSCs determines the suppressive activity of the MDSCs via activation of Stat3. In addition, tumor-derived soluble factors triggered MDSC expansion via activation of Erk. TDE-associated Hsp72 triggered Stat3 activation in MDSCs in a TLR2/MyD88-dependent manner through autocrine production of IL-6. Importantly, decreasing exosome production using dimethyl amiloride enhanced the in vivo antitumor efficacy of the chemotherapeutic drug cyclophosphamide in 3 different mouse tumor models. We also demonstrated that this mechanism is relevant in cancer patients, as TDEs from a human tumor cell line activated human MDSCs and triggered their suppressive function in an Hsp72/TLR2-dependent manner. Further, MDSCs from cancer patients treated with amiloride, a drug used to treat high blood pressure that also inhibits exosome formation, exhibited reduced suppressor functions. Collectively, our findings show in both mice and humans that Hsp72 expressed at the surface of TDEs restrains tumor immune surveillance by promoting MDSC suppressive functions.
Tumor immune tolerance can derive from the recruitment of suppressor cell populations, including myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). In cancer patients, MDSC accumulation correlates with increased tumor burden, but the mechanisms of MDSC induction remain poorly understood.
This study examined the ability of human tumor cell lines to induce MDSC from healthy donor PBMC using in vitro co-culture methods. These human MDSC were then characterized for morphology, phenotype, gene expression, and function.
Of over 100 tumor cell lines examined, 45 generated canonical CD33+HLA-DRlowLineage- MDSC, with high frequency of induction by cervical, ovarian, colorectal, renal cell, and head and neck carcinoma cell lines. CD33+ MDSC could be induced by cancer cell lines from all tumor types with the notable exception of those derived from breast cancer (0/9, regardless of hormone and HER2 status). Upon further examination, these and others with infrequent CD33+ MDSC generation were found to induce a second subset characterized as CD11b+CD33lowHLA-DRlowLineage-. Gene and protein expression, antibody neutralization, and cytokine-induction studies determined that the induction of CD33+ MDSC depended upon over-expression of IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, VEGF, and GM-CSF, while CD11b+ MDSC induction correlated with over-expression of FLT3L and TGFβ. Morphologically, both CD33+ and CD11b+ MDSC subsets appeared as immature myeloid cells and had significantly up-regulated expression of iNOS, NADPH oxidase, and arginase-1 genes. Furthermore, increased expression of transcription factors HIF1α, STAT3, and C/EBPβ distinguished MDSC from normal counterparts.
These studies demonstrate the universal nature of MDSC induction by human solid tumors and characterize two distinct MDSC subsets: CD33+HLA-DRlowHIF1α+/STAT3+ and CD11b+HLA-DRlowC/EBPβ+, which should enable the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic reagents for cancer immunotherapy.
myeloid-derived suppressor cells; tumor immune tolerance; human tumor cell lines; immunomodulation; cytokines; hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha; CAAAT-enhancer binding protein; signal transducer and activator of transcription; inflammation
Immune tolerance to tumors is often associated with accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and an increase in the number of T-regulatory cells (Treg). In tumor-bearing mice, MDSCs can themselves facilitate the generation of tumor-specific Tregs. In this study, we demonstrate that expression of the immune stimulatory receptor CD40 on MDSCs is required to induce T-cell tolerance and Treg accumulation. In an immune reconstitution model, adoptive transfer of Gr-1+CD115+ monocytic MDSCs derived from CD40-deficient mice failed to recapitulate the ability of wild-type MDSCs to induce tolerance and Treg development in vivo. Agonistic anti-CD40 antibodies phenocopied the effect of CD40 deficiency and also improved the therapeutic efficacy of IL-12 and 4-1BB immunotherapy in the treatment of advanced tumors. Our findings suggest that CD40 is essential not only for MDSC-mediated immune suppression but also for tumor-specific Treg expansion. Blockade of CD40-CD40L interaction between MDSC and Treg may provide a new strategy to ablate tumoral immune suppression and thereby heighten responses to immunotherapy.
Cannabinoid receptor activation by agents such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to trigger immune suppression. Here, we show that administration of THC in mice leads to rapid and massive expansion of CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) expressing functional arginase and exhibiting potent immunosuppressive properties both in vitro and in vivo. The induction of MDSC by THC was associated with a significant increase in granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Moreover, administration of anti-G-CSF antibody inhibited the induction of MDSC by THC. THC was able to induce MDSC in TLR4 mutant C3H and C57BL10/ScN mice and hence acted independently of TLR4. Accumulation of MDSC in the periphery with a corresponding decrease in the proportion of CD11b+Gr-1+ cells in the bone marrow, as well as in vivo BrdU labeling and cell cycle analysis, showed that THC induced mobilization of these cells from bone marrow and their expansion in the periphery. Use of selective antagonists SR141716A and SR144528 against cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 respectively, as well as receptor-deficient mice showed that induction of MDSC was mediated through activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors. These studies demonstrate that cannabinoid receptor signaling may play a crucial role in immune regulation via the induction of MDSC.
arginase; cannabinoid receptors; G-CSF; immune suppression; myeloid-derived suppressor cells
Tumors escape immune recognition by several mechanisms, and induction of myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) is thought to play a major role in tumor mediated immune evasion. MDSC arise from myeloid progenitor cells that do not differentiate into mature dendritic cells, granulocytes, or macrophages, and are characterized by the ability to suppress T cell and natural killer cell function. They are increased in patients with cancer including renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and their levels have been shown to correlate with prognosis and overall survival. Multiple methods of inhibiting MDSCs are currently under investigation. These can broadly be categorized into methods that (a) promote differentiation of MDSC into mature, non-suppressive cells (all trans retinoic acid, vitamin D), (b) decrease MDSC levels (sunitinib, gemcitabine, 5-FU, CDDO-Me), or (c) functionally inhibit MDSC (PDE-5 inhibitors, cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors). Recently, several pre-clinical tumor models of combination therapy involving sunitinib plus vaccines and/or adoptive therapy have shown promise in MDSC inhibition and improved outcomes in the tumor bearing host. Current clinical trials are underway in RCC patients to assess not only the impact on clinical outcome, but how this combination can enhance anti-tumor immunity and reduce immune suppression. Decreasing immune suppression by MDSC in the cancer host may improve outcomes and prolong survival in this patient population.
MDSC; targeted therapy; combination therapy; cancer; immune evasion
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) promote tumor progression. The mechanisms of MDSC development during tumor growth remain unknown. Tumor exosomes (T-exosomes) have been implicated to play a role in immune regulation, however the role of exosomes in the induction of MDSCs is unclear. Our previous work demonstrated that exosomes isolated from tumor cells are taken up by bone marrow myeloid cells. Here, we extend those findings showing that exosomes isolated from T-exosomes switch the differentiation pathway of these myeloid cells to the MDSC pathway (CD11b+Gr-1+). The resulting cells exhibit MDSC phenotypic and functional characteristics including promotion of tumor growth. Furthermore, we demonstrated that in vivo MDSC mediated promotion of tumor progression is dependent on T-exosome prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and TGF-β molecules. T-exosomes can induce the accumulation of MDSCs expressing Cox2, IL-6, VEGF, and arginase-1. Antibodies against exosomal PGE2 and TGF-β block the activity of these exosomes on MDSC induction and therefore attenuate MDSC-mediated tumor-promoting ability. Exosomal PGE2 and TGF-β are enriched in T-exosomes when compared with exosomes isolated from the supernatants of cultured tumor cells (C-exosomes). The tumor microenvironment has an effect on the potency of T-exosome mediated induction of MDSCs by regulating the sorting and the amount of exosomal PGE2 and TGF-β available. Together, these findings lend themselves to developing specific targetable therapeutic strategies to reduce or eliminate MDSC-induced immunosuppression and hence enhance host antitumor immunotherapy efficacy.
Tumor exosomes; induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells; PGE2; TGF-β; tumor growth
Myeloid cells play a key role in the outcome of anti-tumor immunity and response to anti-cancer therapy, since in the tumor microenvironment they may exert both stimulatory and inhibitory pressures on the proliferative, angiogenic, metastatic, and immunomodulating potential of tumor cells. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of myeloid regulatory cell differentiation is critical for developing strategies for the therapeutic reversal of myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC) accumulation in the tumor-bearing hosts. Here, using an in vitro model system, several potential mechanisms of the direct effect of paclitaxel on MDSC were tested, which might be responsible for the anti-tumor potential of low-dose paclitaxel therapy in mice. It was hypothesized that a decreased level of MDSC in vivo after paclitaxel administration might be due to (i) the blockage of MDSC generation, (ii) an induction of MDSC apoptosis, or (iii) the stimulation of MDSC differentiation. The results revealed that paclitaxel in ultra-low concentrations neither increased MDSC apoptosis nor blocked MDSC generation, but stimulated MDSC differentiation towards dendritic cells. This effect of paclitaxel was TLR4-independent since it was not diminished in cell cultures originated from TLR4−/− mice. These results support a new concept that certain chemotherapeutic agents in ultra-low non-cytotoxic doses may suppress tumor progression by targeting several cell populations in the tumor microenvironment, including MDSC.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; paclitaxel; dendritic cells; chemomodulation
Emerging data suggests that host immune cells with a suppressive phenotype represent a significant hurdle to successful therapy for metastatic cancer. Among the suppressor cells, T regulatory cells (Treg) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are significantly increased in hosts with advanced malignancies. MDSC mediate the suppression of the tumor antigen-specific T-cell response through the induction of T-cell anergy and the development of Treg in tumor-bearing mice. These results provide robust evidence of an in vivo immunoregulatory function of MDSC in the establishment of tumor antigen-specific tolerance and the development of Treg in tumor-bearing hosts. To achieve effective anti-tumor immunity, tumor-induced immunosuppression must be reversed. Our preliminary results indicate that c-kit ligand (stem cell factor) expressed by tumor cells may be required for MDSC accumulation in tumor-bearing mice, and that blocking the c-kit ligand/c-kit receptor interaction can prevent the development of Treg and reverse immune tolerance induced by MDSC. Since c-kit can be readily inhibited by several small molecule inhibitors including imatinib, sunitinib and dasatinib, targeting immune suppressing cells can be readily accomplished in the clinic.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells; sunitinib; stem cell factor (c-kit); radiation therapy; tumor immunotherapy; T regulatory cells
In rats bearing an intracranial T9 glioma, immunization with tumor antigens induces myeloid suppressor cells, which express neutrophil (His48) and monocyte (CD11bc) markers, to infiltrate the tumors. The His48+/CD11bc+ cells were not derived from CNS microglia but were hematogenous; suppressed multiple T cell effector functions; and are myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). The glioma-infiltrating MDSC expressed arginase I, iNOS, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and TGF-β; however, inhibitor/blocking studies demonstrated that NO production was the primary mechanism of suppression which induced T cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that neuro-immunomodulation by MDSC in rat gliomas maybe mediated by a pathway requiring NO production.
brain tumor-associated immunosuppression; malignant glioma; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; nitric oxide
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are induced under diverse pathologic conditions, including neoplasia, and suppress innate and adaptive immunity. While the mechanisms by which MDSC mediate immunosuppression are well-characterized, details on how they develop remain less understood. This is complicated further by the fact that MDSC comprise multiple myeloid cell types, namely monocytes and granulocytes, reflecting diverse stages of differentiation and the proportion of these subpopulations vary among different neoplastic models. Thus, it is thought that the type and quantities of inflammatory mediators generated during neoplasia dictate the composition of the resultant MDSC response. Although much interest has been devoted to monocytic MDSC biology, a fundamental gap remains in our understanding of the derivation of granulocytic MDSC. In settings of heightened granulocytic MDSC responses, we hypothesized that inappropriate production of G-CSF is a key initiator of granulocytic MDSC accumulation. We observed abundant amounts of G-CSF in vivo, which correlated with robust granulocytic MDSC responses in multiple tumor models. Using G-CSF loss- and gain-of-function approaches, we demonstrated for the first time that: 1) abrogating G-CSF production significantly diminished granulocytic MDSC accumulation and tumor growth; 2) ectopically over-expressing G-CSF in G-CSF-negative tumors significantly augmented granulocytic MDSC accumulation and tumor growth; and 3) treatment of naïve healthy mice with recombinant G-CSF protein elicited granulocytic-like MDSC remarkably similar to those induced under tumor-bearing conditions. Collectively, we demonstrated that tumor-derived G-CSF enhances tumor growth through granulocytic MDSC-dependent mechanisms. These findings provide us with novel insights into MDSC subset development and potentially new biomarkers or targets for cancer therapy.
Bone marrow derived myeloid cells progressively accumulate in tumors, where they establish an inflammatory microenvironment that is favorable for tumor growth and spread. These cells are comprised primarily of monocytic and granulocytic myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) or tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), which are generally associated with a poor clinical outcome. MDSCs and TAMs promote tumor progression by stimulating immunosuppression, neovascularization, metastasis and resistance to anti-cancer therapy. Strategies to target the tumor-promoting functions of myeloid cells could provide substantial therapeutic benefit to cancer patients.
Macrophage; Myeloid derived suppressor cells; Tumor angiogenesis; Tumor microenvironment; Tumor inflammation; Cancer