• Open Access

Immunosuppressive activity of CD14+ HLA-DR cells in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Authors

  • Kazuaki Chikamatsu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
    • Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan
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  • Koichi Sakakura,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, National Hospital Organization Shizuoka Medical Center, Shizuoka, Japan
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  • Minoru Toyoda,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
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  • Katsumasa Takahashi,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
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  • Takanori Yamamoto,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan
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  • Keisuke Masuyama

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan
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To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: tikamatu@gunma-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) represent a heterogeneous population and have the potential to suppress immune responses via diverse mechanisms. In recent studies, a new subset of MDSC was identified by the markers CD14+ and HLA-DR in the peripheral blood from cancer patients. In this study, we investigated the proportions and characteristics of CD14+ HLA-DR cells in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). As expected, the percentage of CD14+ HLA-DR cells was significantly elevated in patients relative to healthy donors and the sorted CD14+ HLA-DR cells were able to suppress effectively both the proliferation and IFN-γ production of anti-CD3/anti-CD28 stimulated T cells, suggesting that CD14+ HLA-DR cells in patients with SCCHN contribute to the immune suppressive status. Furthermore, CD14+ HLA-DR cells revealed a higher level of CD86 and PD-L1 expression and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β production than CD14+ HLA-DR+ cells. Addition of anti-CD86 mAb, anti-PD-L1 mAb and anti-TGF-β mAb partially restored T-cell proliferation and IFN-γ production, respectively, indicating that the suppressive effects of CD14+ HLA-DR cells appear to be mediated by various molecules, including coinhibitory molecules and cytokines. Our data suggest that CD14+ HLA-DR cells act as potent immunosuppressive cells and particularly contribute to tumor escape from the host immune system in patients with SCCHN. (Cancer Sci 2012; 103: 976–983)

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