Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Multiple Myeloma

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous mix of myeloid cells in different maturation stages generated in the bone marrow. The role of MDSCs in cancer is to suppress T-cell responses, thereby likely regulating tumor progression. In mice, MDSCs are identified by the expression of the surface markers CD11b and Gr-1. Recently, Ly6G+ granulocytic (PMN-MDSC) and Ly6G- monocytic (MO-MDSC) subsets could be distinguished (Movahedi et al. Blood 2008, 111:4233-44). In multiple myeloma patients, the immune function is impaired and this is caused by an immunologically hostile microenvironment and cellular defects, such as decreased numbers of immune cells, and DC or T-cell dysfunction. However, the role of MDSCs in immune suppression in multiple myeloma is not yet described.

In this study, we investigated the immunosuppressive activity and mechanism of MDSC subsets in the syngeneic and immunocompetent 5TMM mouse model (5T2 and 5T33 models). In first instance, CD11b+Ly6G- and CD11b+Ly6G+ lineage-committed myeloid MDSC subsets were detected in 5TMM-diseased bone marrow by flow cytometry. These subsets were purified via MACS from the bone marrow of naïve and 5TMM tumor-bearing mice, and analyzed for T-cell suppressive activity. Hereto, CD8+ TCR-transgenic OT-1 splenocytes were stimulated with ovalbumin protein in the presence of purified MDSC subsets, after which T-cell proliferation was measured via 3H-thymidine incorporation. Both MDSC subsets from 5TMM bone marrow were able to suppress antigen-specific T-cell responses at a higher level compared to purified MDSC subsets from normal bone marrow. On average, Ly6G- MDSCs were more suppressive than Ly6G+ MDSCs. The 5T2MM model has a tumor take of approximately 12 weeks. Three weeks after intravenous inoculation of the tumor cells, the suppressive effect of the myeloid subsets was already observed (while the plasmacytosis in the BM was very low and no detectable serum M spike was observed), indicating that T-cell suppression is an early event in MM development. To unravel the suppressive mechanism of the MDSC subsets, inhibitors were used in ovalbumin-stimulated cocultures. Ly6G- MDSC-mediated suppression was partially reversed by the iNOS inhibitor L-NMMA and the COX-2 inhibitor sc-791, both of which lower the NO concentration in culture. In contrast, superoxide dismutase and especially catalase enhance NO concentrations, resulting in enhanced T-cell suppression. None of these inhibitors had any impact on the Ly6G+ MDSC-mediated suppression.

In conclusion, these data reveal the presence of MDSCs as a novel immune suppressive strategy employed by multiple myeloma cells in the bone marrow, already occurring early in the disease process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2794
Number of pages1
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2009
Event51th ASH Annual Meeting - New Orleans
Duration: 5 Dec 20097 Dec 2009


  • myeloma
  • Myeloid-derived suppressor cells
  • Mouse model
  • immunosuppressive activity


Dive into the research topics of 'Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Multiple Myeloma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this