Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are present in most cancer patients and experimental animals where they exert a profound immune suppression and are a significant obstacle to immunotherapy. IFN-γ and IL-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Rα) have been implicated as essential molecules for MDSC development and immunosuppressive function. If IFN-γ and IL-4Rα are critical regulators of MDSCs, then they are potential targets for preventing MDSC accumulation or inhibiting MDSC function. Because data supporting a role for IFN-γ and IL-4Rα are not definitive, we have examined MDSCs induced in IFN-γ-deficient, IFN-γR-deficient, and IL-4Rα-deficient mice carrying three C57BL/6-derived (B16 melanoma, MC38 colon carcinoma, and 3LL lung adenocarcinoma), and three BALB/c-derived (4T1 and TS/A mammary carcinomas, and CT26 colon carcinoma) tumors. We report that although MDSCs express functional IFN-γR and IL-4Rα, and have the potential to signal through the STAT1 and STAT6 pathways, respectively, neither IFN-γ nor IL-4Rα impacts the phenotype, accumulation, or T-cell suppressive potency of MDSCs, although IFN-γ and IL-4Rα modestly alter MDSC-macrophage IL-10 crosstalk. Therefore, neither IFN-γ nor IL-4Rα is a key regulator of MDSCs and targeting these molecules is unlikely to significantly alter MDSC accumulation or function.
© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.