Single-cell RNA landscape of intratumoral heterogeneity and immunosuppressive microenvironment in advanced osteosarcoma

Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 10;11(1):6322. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20059-6.


Osteosarcoma is the most frequent primary bone tumor with poor prognosis. Through RNA-sequencing of 100,987 individual cells from 7 primary, 2 recurrent, and 2 lung metastatic osteosarcoma lesions, 11 major cell clusters are identified based on unbiased clustering of gene expression profiles and canonical markers. The transcriptomic properties, regulators and dynamics of osteosarcoma malignant cells together with their tumor microenvironment particularly stromal and immune cells are characterized. The transdifferentiation of malignant osteoblastic cells from malignant chondroblastic cells is revealed by analyses of inferred copy-number variation and trajectory. A proinflammatory FABP4+ macrophages infiltration is noticed in lung metastatic osteosarcoma lesions. Lower osteoclasts infiltration is observed in chondroblastic, recurrent and lung metastatic osteosarcoma lesions compared to primary osteoblastic osteosarcoma lesions. Importantly, TIGIT blockade enhances the cytotoxicity effects of the primary CD3+ T cells with high proportion of TIGIT+ cells against osteosarcoma. These results present a single-cell atlas, explore intratumor heterogeneity, and provide potential therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Cell Aggregation / genetics
  • Child
  • Clone Cells
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics
  • Dendritic Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / pathology
  • Myeloid Cells / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism
  • Osteoclasts / pathology
  • Osteosarcoma / genetics*
  • Osteosarcoma / immunology*
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Neoplasm