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Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 1;68(13):5439-49. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6621.

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells promote cross-tolerance in B-cell lymphoma by expanding regulatory T cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dodson Interdisciplinary Immunotherapy Institute, University of Miami, School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.


Tumor-induced T-cell tolerance is a major mechanism that facilitates tumor progression and limits the efficacy of immune therapeutic interventions. Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a central role in the induction of tolerance to tumor antigens, yet the precise mechanisms regulating its induction in vivo remain to be elucidated. Using the A20 B-cell lymphoma model, here we identify myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) as the tolerogenic antigen presenting cells capable of antigen uptake and presentation to tumor-specific Tregs. MDSC-mediated Treg induction requires arginase but is transforming growth factor-beta independent. In vitro and in vivo inhibition of MDSC function, respectively, with NOHA or sildenafil abrogates Treg proliferation and tumor-induced tolerance in antigen-specific T cells. These findings establish a role for MDSCs in antigen-specific tolerance induction through preferential antigen uptake mediating the recruitment and expansion of Tregs. Furthermore, therapeutic interventions, such as in vivo phosphodiesterase 5-inhibition, which effectively abrogate the immunosuppressive role of MDSCs and reduce Treg numbers, may play a critical role in delaying and/or reversing tolerance induction.

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