The immune cell atlas of human neuroblastoma

Cell Rep Med. 2022 Jun 21;3(6):100657. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100657. Epub 2022 Jun 9.


Understanding the complete immune cell composition of human neuroblastoma (NB) is crucial for the development of immunotherapeutics. Here, we perform single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) on 19 human NB samples coupled with multiplex immunohistochemistry, survival analysis, and comparison with normal fetal adrenal gland data. We provide a comprehensive immune cell landscape and characterize cell-state changes from normal tissue to NB. Our analysis reveals 27 immune cell subtypes, including distinct subpopulations of myeloid, NK, B, and T cells. Several different cell types demonstrate a survival benefit. In contrast to adult cancers and previous NB studies, we show an increase in inflammatory monocyte cell state when contrasting normal and tumor tissue, while no differences in cytotoxicity and exhaustion score for T cells, nor in Treg activity, are observed. Our receptor-ligand interaction analysis reveals a highly complex interactive network of the NB microenvironment from which we highlight several interactions that we suggest for future therapeutic studies.

Keywords: cancer; human; immune cell landscape; immuno-oncology; immunotherapy; neuroblastoma; pediatric cancer; prognosis; single-cell RNA sequencing; survival.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuroblastoma* / genetics
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics