Microbiota-driven interleukin-17-producing cells and eosinophils synergize to accelerate multiple myeloma progression

Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 3;9(1):4832. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07305-8.


The gut microbiota has been causally linked to cancer, yet how intestinal microbes influence progression of extramucosal tumors is poorly understood. Here we provide evidence implying that Prevotella heparinolytica promotes the differentiation of Th17 cells colonizing the gut and migrating to the bone marrow (BM) of transgenic Vk*MYC mice, where they favor progression of multiple myeloma (MM). Lack of IL-17 in Vk*MYC mice, or disturbance of their microbiome delayed MM appearance. Similarly, in smoldering MM patients, higher levels of BM IL-17 predicted faster disease progression. IL-17 induced STAT3 phosphorylation in murine plasma cells, and activated eosinophils. Treatment of Vk*MYC mice with antibodies blocking IL-17, IL-17RA, and IL-5 reduced BM accumulation of Th17 cells and eosinophils and delayed disease progression. Thus, in Vk*MYC mice, commensal bacteria appear to unleash a paracrine signaling network between adaptive and innate immunity that accelerates progression to MM, and can be targeted by already available therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Disease Progression
  • Eosinophils / immunology*
  • Eosinophils / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / genetics
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Multiple Myeloma / immunology*
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology
  • Prevotella / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism


  • Interleukin-17