Myeloperoxidase exerts anti-tumor activity in glioma after radiotherapy

Neoplasia. 2022 Apr;26:100779. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2022.100779. Epub 2022 Mar 2.


Background: Host immune response is a critical component in tumorigenesis and immune escape. Radiation is widely used for glioblastoma (GBM) and can induce marked tissue inflammation and substantially alter host immune response. However, the role of myeloperoxidase (MPO), a key enzyme in inflammation and host immune response, in tumorigenesis after radiotherapy is unclear. In this study, we aimed to determine how post-radiation MPO activity influences GBM and outcome.

Methods: We injected C57BL/6J or MPO-knockout mice with 005 mouse GBM stem cells intracranially. To observe MPO's effects on post-radiation tumor progression, we then irradiated the head with 10 Gy unfractionated and treated the mice with a specific MPO inhibitor, 4-aminobenzoic acid hydrazide (ABAH), or vehicle as control. We performed semi-quantitative longitudinal molecular MRI, enzymatic assays and flow cytometry to assess changes in inflammatory response and tumor size, and tracked survival. We also performed cell culture experiments in murine and human GBM cells to determine the effect of MPO on these cells.

Results: Brain irradiation increased the number of monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils, and boosted MPO activity by ten-fold in the glioma microenvironment. However, MPO inhibition dampened radiation-induced inflammation, demonstrating decreased MPO-specific signal on molecular MRI and attenuated neutrophil and inflammatory monocyte/macrophage recruitment to the glioma. Compared to saline-treated mice, both ABAH-treated and MPO-knockout mice had accelerated tumor growth and reduced survival. We further confirmed that MPO decreased tumor cell viability and proliferation in cell cultures.

Conclusion: Local radiation to the brain initiated an acute systemic inflammatory response with increased MPO-carrying cells both in the periphery and the GBM, resulting in increased MPO activity in the tumor microenvironment. Inhibition or absence of MPO activity increased tumor growth and decreased host survival, revealing that elevated MPO activity after radiation has an anti-tumor role.

Keywords: Glioblastoma (GBM); Inflammation; Myeloperoxidase; Radiation; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Glioblastoma* / genetics
  • Glioblastoma* / radiotherapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peroxidase* / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Peroxidase