Image_2_Clinical Relevance and Immunosuppressive Pattern of Circulating and Infiltrating Subsets of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs) in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.TIF

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) expansion is a hallmark of cancer. Three major MDSC subsets defined as monocytic (M)-MDSCs, polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs and early stage (e)MDSCs can be revealed in human diseases. However, the clinical relevance and immunosupressive pattern of these cells in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are unknown. Therefore, we performed a comprehensive analysis of each MDSC subset and immunosupressive factors in the peripheral blood (PB), peritoneal fluid (PF), and the tumor tissue (TT) samples from EOC and integrated this data with the patients' clinicopathological characteristic. MDSCs were analyzed using multicolor flow cytometry. Immunosuppressive factors analysis was performed with ELISA and qRT-PCR. The level of M-MDSCs in the PB/PF/TT of EOC was significantly higher than in healthy donors (HD); frequency of PMN-MDSCs was significantly greater in the TT than in the PB/PF and HD; while the level of eMDSCs was greater in the PB compared with the PF and HD. Elevated abundance of tumor-infiltrating M-MDSCs was associated with advanced stage and high grade of EOC. An analysis of immunosuppressive pattern showed significantly increased blood-circulating ARG/IDO/IL-10-expressing M- and PMN-MDSCs in the EOC patients compared with HD and differences in the accumulation of these subsets in the three tumor immune microenvironments (TIME). This accumulation was positively correlated with levels of TGF-β and ARG1 in the plasma and PF. Low level of blood-circulating and tumor-infiltrating M-MDSCs, but neither PMN-MDSCs nor eMDSCs was strongly associated with prolonged survival in ovarian cancer patients. Our results highlight M-MDSCs as the subset with potential the highest clinical significance.