Gliomas appear to be highly immunosuppressive tumors, with a strong myeloid component. This includes MDSCs, which are a heterogeneous, immature myeloid cell population expressing myeloid markers Siglec-3 (CD33) and CD11b and lacking markers of mature myeloid cells including MHC II. Siglec-3 is a member of the sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec) family and has been suggested to promote MDSC expansion and suppression. Siglecs form a recently defined family of receptors with potential immunoregulatory functions but only limited insight in their expression on immune regulatory cell subsets, prompting us to investigate Siglec expression on MDSCs. We determined the expression of different Siglec family members on monocytic-MDSCs (M-MDSCs) and polymorphnuclear-MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) from blood of glioma patients and healthy donors, as well as from patient-derived tumor material. Furthermore, we investigated the presence of sialic acid ligands for these Siglecs on MDSCs and in the glioma tumor microenvironment. Both MDSC subsets express Siglec-3, -5, -7 and -9, with higher levels of Siglec-3, -7 and -9 on M-MDSCs and higher Siglec-5 levels on PMN-MDSCs. Similar Siglec expression profiles were found on MDSCs from healthy donors. Furthermore, the presence of Siglec-5 and -9 was also confirmed on PMN-MDSCs from glioma tissue. Interestingly, freshly isolated glioma cells predominantly expressed sialic acid ligands for Siglec-7 and -9, which was confirmed in situ. In conclusion, our data show a distinct Siglec expression profile for M- and PMN-MDSCs and propose possible sialic acid–Siglec interactions between glioma cells and MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment.
- Myeloid-derived suppressor cells
- Sialic acids