Increase in both CD14-positive and CD15-positive myeloid-derived suppressor cell subpopulations in the blood of patients with glioma but predominance of CD15-positive myeloid-derived suppressor cells in glioma tissue

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015 May;74(5):390-400. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0000000000000183.


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), defined as CD33-positive major histocompatibility complex class II-negative cells, are increased in a variety of human tumors and are associated with immunosuppression. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells can be further subdivided into CD14-positive monocytic MDSC and CD15-positive granulocytic MDSC (polymorphonuclear MDSC) subpopulations. Here we analyzed MDSC subsets in the blood and tumor tissue of patients with glioma, including the most malignant variant, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). CD33-positive major histocompatibility complex class II-negative MDSCs in blood from 21 patients with glioma and 12 healthy individuals were phenotyped and quantified by flow cytometry. Myeloid populations of the monocytic MDSC and polymorphonuclear MDSC phenotypes were both significantly increased in the blood of patients with GBM versus healthy controls. The myeloid activation markers CD80 and PD-L1 could not be detected on either of these MDSC subsets; CD124, CD86, and CD40 were detected at similar levels on MDSCs in patients with glioma and healthy donors. By contrast, in tumor cell suspensions, the MDSC population consisted almost exclusively of CD15-positive cells. Immunohistochemistry confirmed infiltration of CD15-positive major histocompatibility complex class II-negative cells in glioma tissue samples. These data support a role for cells with an MDSC phenotype in the blood and tumor microenvironment of patients with GBM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glioma / blood*
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lewis X Antigen / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Lewis X Antigen
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors