We recently demonstrated that human BM cells can be treated in vitro with defined growth factors to induce the rapid generation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), hereafter defined as BM-MDSCs. Indeed, combination of G-CSF + GM-CSF led to the development of a heterogeneous mixture of immature myeloid cells ranging from myeloblasts to band cells that were able to suppress alloantigen- and mitogen-stimulated T lymphocytes. Here, we further investigate the mechanism of suppression and define the cell subset that is fully responsible for BM-MDSC-mediated immune suppression. This population, which displays the structure and markers of promyelocytes, is however distinct from physiologic promyelocytes that, instead, are devoid of immuosuppressive function. In addition, we demonstrate that promyelocyte-like cells proliferate in the presence of activated lymphocytes and that, when these cells exert suppressive activity, they do not differentiate but rather maintain their immature phenotype. Finally, we show that promyelocyte-like BM-MDSCs are equivalent to MDSCs present in the blood of patients with breast cancer and patients with colorectal cancer and that increased circulating levels of these immunosuppressive myeloid cells correlate with worse prognosis and radiographic progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology