Dual roles of myeloid-derived suppressor cells induced by Toll-like receptor signaling in cancer

Oncol Lett. 2021 Feb;21(2):149. doi: 10.3892/ol.2020.12410. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are one of the major components of the tumor microenvironment (TME), and are the main mediators of tumor-induced immunosuppression. Recent studies have reported that the survival, differentiation and immunosuppressive activity of MDSCs are affected by the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway. However, the regulatory effect of TLR signaling on MDSCs remains controversial. TLR-induced MDSC can acquire different immunosuppressive activities to influence the immune response that can be either beneficial or detrimental to cancer immunotherapy. The present review summarizes the effects of TLR signals on the number, phenotype and inhibitory activity of MDSCs, and their role in cancer immunotherapy, which cannot be ignored if effective cancer immunotherapies are to be developed for the immunosuppression of the TME.

Keywords: MDSC; TLR signals; antitumor; protumor.

Publication types

  • Review