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Predominance of M2 macrophages in gliomas leads to the suppression of local and systemic immunity

  • Aurobind Vidyarthi
  • Tapan Agnihotri
  • Nargis Khan
  • Sanpreet Singh
  • Manoj K. Tewari
  • Bishan D. Radotra
  • Deepyan Chatterjee
  • Javed N. AgrewalaEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Glioblastoma is a highly prevalent and aggressive form of primary brain tumor. It represents approximately 56% of all the newly diagnosed gliomas. Macrophages are one of the major constituents of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in the human gliomas. The role of immunosuppressive macrophages is very well documented in correlation with the poor prognosis of patients suffering from breast, prostate, bladder and cervical cancers. The current study highlights the correlation between the tumor-associated macrophage phenotypes and glioma progression. We observed an increase in the pool of M2 macrophages in high-grade gliomas, as confirmed by their CD68 and CD163 double-positive phenotype. In contrast, less M1 macrophages were noticed in high-grade gliomas, as evidenced by the down-regulation in the expression of CCL3 marker. In addition, we observed that higher gene expression ratio of CD163/CCL3 is associated with glioma progression. The Kaplan–Meier survival plots indicate that glioma patients with lower expression of M2c marker (CD163), and higher expression of M1 marker (CCL3) had better survival. Furthermore, we examined the systemic immune response in the peripheral blood and noted a predominance of M2 macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and PD-1+ CD4 T cells in glioma patients. Thus, the study indicates a high gene expression ratio of CD163/CCL3 in high-grade gliomas as compared to low-grade gliomas and significantly elevated frequency of M2 macrophages and PD-1+ CD4 T cells in the blood of tumor patients. These parameters could be used as an indicator of the early diagnosis and prognosis of the disease.

Keywords

Glioma Tumor-associated macrophages CD163 CCL3 PD-1 

Abbreviations

Abs

Antibodies

DAB

(3,3′-diaminobenzidine)

FACS

Fluorescence-activated cell sorting

GAPDH

Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase

HGG

High-grade glioma

HLA-DR

Human Leukocyte Antigen—DR isotype

IFN-γ

Interferon gamma

IL-10

Interleukin 10

IL-10R

Interleukin-10 receptor

LGG

Low-grade glioma

LPS

Lipopolysaccharides

PBMCs

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells

PBS

Phosphate-buffered saline

PD-1

Programmed cell death protein 1

TAM

Tumor-associated macrophages

TCGA

The Cancer Genome Atlas

TGF-β

Transforming growth factor-beta

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Debajyoti Chatterjee, Gurpreet, Ishwar and Alka from Department of Histopathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India for the helpful suggestions for doing immunohistochemistry.

Author contributions

JNA and AV conceived the project. AV, TA and NK performed experiments. AV, TA, NK, JNA, BDR, MKT and DC analyzed data. AV, JNA, NK, MKT and SS wrote the manuscript. All authors assisted in editing the manuscript and approved its final version.

Funding

Authors are grateful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India for financial support. Aurobind Vidyarthi and Tapan Agnihotri received fellowships from the CSIR, Nargis Khan from DBT, and Sanpreet Singh from ICMR.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee. The study was approved by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India ‘Institutional Ethical Committee’ (Ref. No. PGI/IEC/2012/1498-99) and ‘Institutional Biosafety Committee of the Institute of Microbial Technology’ (Ref. No. 1/IEC/1/9-2014), Chandigarh, India.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants and close relative of the deceased (For cadavers) included in the study for using the specimens for research and publication.

Supplementary material

262_2019_2423_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (6.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 6548 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aurobind Vidyarthi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tapan Agnihotri
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nargis Khan
    • 1
    • 4
  • Sanpreet Singh
    • 1
  • Manoj K. Tewari
    • 5
  • Bishan D. Radotra
    • 6
  • Deepyan Chatterjee
    • 1
  • Javed N. Agrewala
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Immunology LaboratoryCSIR-Institute of Microbial TechnologyChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and TherapeuticsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Meakins-Christie LaboratoriesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  6. 6.Department of HistopathologyPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  7. 7.Indian Institute of TechnologyRoparIndia

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