High Levels of PD-L1+ and Hyal2+ Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells in Renal Cell Carcinoma

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Sergei Kusmartsev
Elizabeth Kwenda
Paul R. Dominguez-Gutierrez
Paul L. Crispen
Padraic O’Malley


renal cell carcinoma, cancer immune microenvironment, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, Hyal2


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients frequently have increased number of immunosuppressive myeloid cells in circulation. High number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the blood are associated with immune suppression as well as with cancer-related inflammation which drives the mobilization of myeloid cells to tumor tissue. Here, we show that peripheral blood from a previously untreated RCC patient has increased the number of monocytic CD33+CD11b+ MDSCs, which also co-expressed PD-L1 and membrane-bound enzyme hyaluronidase 2 (Hyal2). PD-L1 expression is associated with immune suppression, whereas expression of Hyal2 is associated with inflammation, because Hyal2+ myeloid cells can degrade the extracellular hyaluronan (HA), leading to the accumulation of pro-inflammatory HA fragments with low molecular weight. These findings implicate the potential involvement of monocytic MDSCs in both tumor-associated immune suppression and cancer-related inflammation. Analysis of organotypic tumor-tissue slice cultures prepared from cancer tissue of the same patient revealed the significant presence of PD-L1+ HLA-DR+ macrophage-like or dendritic cell-like antigen-presenting cells in tumor stroma. Interestingly, stroma-associated PD-L1+ cells frequently have intracellular hyaluronan. Collectively, data presented in this study suggest that the interplay between tumor-recruited myeloid cells and stromal HA may contribute to the inflammation and immune tolerance in kidney cancer.

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