Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 673–685 | Cite as

MDSCs in infectious diseases: regulation, roles, and readjustment

  • Anca DorhoiEmail author
  • Estibaliz Glaría
  • Thalia Garcia-Tellez
  • Natalie E. Nieuwenhuizen
  • Gennadiy Zelinskyy
  • Benoit Favier
  • Anurag Singh
  • Jan Ehrchen
  • Cornelia Gujer
  • Christian Münz
  • Margarida Saraiva
  • Yahya Sohrabi
  • Ana E. Sousa
  • Peter Delputte
  • Michaela Müller-Trutwin
  • Annabel F. ValledorEmail author
Symposium-in-Writing Paper


Many pathogens, ranging from viruses to multicellular parasites, promote expansion of MDSCs, which are myeloid cells that exhibit immunosuppressive features. The roles of MDSCs in infection depend on the class and virulence mechanisms of the pathogen, the stage of the disease, and the pathology associated with the infection. This work compiles evidence supported by functional assays on the roles of different subsets of MDSCs in acute and chronic infections, including pathogen-associated malignancies, and discusses strategies to modulate MDSC dynamics to benefit the host.


Myeloid regulatory cells MDSC Infection Immunosuppression Oncogenic viruses Mye-EUNITER 







All-trans retinoic acid

B. fragilis

Bacteroides fragilis

C. albicans

Candida albicans


Clone 13


C-C Chemokine receptor


European Cooperation in Science and Technology


Epstein Barr virus


Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis


Friend virus

H. felis

Helicobacter felis

H. polygyrus

Heligmosomoides polygyrus


HBV surface antigen


Host-directed therapy


Influenza A virus


Invariant NK T


Japanese encephalitis virus

K. pneumoniae

Klebsiella pneumoniae

L. major

Leishmania major


Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus





Monocytic MDSC

M. tuberculosis

Mycobacterium tuberculosis


Mannose receptor


Myeloid regulatory cell


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


NO synthase

P. aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa


Pneumocystis pneumonia




Prostaglandin E2


Neutrophil-like MDSC


Reactive oxygen species

S. aureus

Staphylococcus aureus


Simian immunodeficiency virus

T. crassiceps

Taenia crassiceps

T. cruzi

Trypanosoma cruzi

T. gondii

Toxoplasma gondii




T Follicular helper



We thank Ronnie Grant (University of Edinburgh) for figure editing.

Author contributions

Conceptualization and writing of the original draft: all authors. Figure design: AD, EG, TG-T, and AFV. Revisions and editing: AD, NEN, CG, and AFV. Supervision: AD and AFV. All authors approved the final version of this paper.


This work was supported by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) and the COST Action BM1404 Mye-EUNITER ( COST is part of the European Union Framework Programme Horizon 2020. Estibaliz Glaría is supported by a fellowship from the University of Barcelona (Ajuts de Personal Investigador predoctoral en Formació, APIF); Thalia Garcia-Tellez is supported by the Institut Carnot Pasteur Maladie Infectieuses (ANR 11-CARN 017-01) as part of the Pasteur—Paris University (PPU) International PhD Program and by Sidaction.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

262_2018_2277_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (143 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 144 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Immunology, Friedrich-Loeffler-InstitutFederal Research Institute for Animal HealthGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Mathematics and Natural SciencesUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  3. 3.Department of ImmunologyMax Planck Institute for Infection BiologyBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Nuclear Receptor Group, Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology, School of BiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona (IBUB)BarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Institut Pasteur, HIV Inflammation and Persistence UnitParisFrance
  7. 7.Institute of Virology, University Hospital EssenUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  8. 8.Immunology of Viral Infections and Autoimmune Diseases (IMVA), IDMIT DepartmentCEA, Université Paris Sud 11, INSERM U1184, IBJFFontenay-aux-RosesFrance
  9. 9.University Children’s Hospital and Interdisciplinary Center for Infectious DiseasesUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  10. 10.Department of DermatologyUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  11. 11.Viral Immunobiology, Institute of Experimental ImmunologyUniversity of ZürichZurichSwitzerland
  12. 12.i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em SaúdePortoPortugal
  13. 13.IBMC, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e CelularUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  14. 14.Molecular and Translational Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity Hospital MünsterMünsterGermany
  15. 15.Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic
  16. 16.Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de MedicinaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  17. 17.Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH), Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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