Osteopontin shapes immunosuppression in the metastatic niche

Sabina Sangaletti, Claudio Tripodo, Sara Sandri, Ilaria Torselli, Caterina Vitali, Chiara Ratti, Laura Botti, Alessia Burocchi, Rossana Porcasi, Andrea Tomirotti, Mario P. Colombo, Claudia Chiodoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The matricellular protein osteopontin (OPN, Spp-1) is widely associated with cancer aggressiveness when produced by tumor cells, but its impact is uncertain when produced by leukocytes in the context of the tumor stroma. In a broad study using Spp1-/-mice along with gene silencing in tumor cells, we obtained evidence of distinct and common activities of OPN when produced by tumor or host cells in a spontaneously metastatic model of breast cancer. Different cellular localization of OPN is associated with its distinct activities, being mainly secreted in tumor cells while intracellular in myeloid cells. OPN produced by tumor cells supported their survival in the blood stream, whereas both tumor- and host-derived OPN, particularly from myeloid cells, rendered the metastatic site more immunosuppressive. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) expanded with tumor progression at both primary and lung metastatic sites. Of the expanded monocytic and granulocytic cell populations of MDSCs, the monocytic subset was the predominant source of OPN. In Spp1-/-mice, the inhibition of lung metastases correlated with the expansion of granulocyte-oriented MDSCs. Notably, monocytic MDSCs in Spp1-/-mice were less suppressive than their wild-type counterparts due to lower expression of arginase-1, IL6, and phospho-Stat3. Moreover, fewer regulatory T cells accumulated at the metastatic site in Spp1-/-mice. Our data find correlation with lung metastases of human mammary carcinomas that are associated with myeloid cells expressing OPN. Overall, our results unveiled novel functions for OPN in shaping local immunosuppression in the lung metastatic niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4706-4719
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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