Expansion of CD11b+Ly-6C+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) driven by galectin-9 attenuates CVB3-induced myocarditis

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Galectin-9 is known to play a role in the modulation of innate and adaptive immunity to ameliorate CVB3-induced myocarditis. In the present study, we found that galectin-9 induced the expansion of CD11b+Ly-6C+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the heart from CVB3-infected mice. Adoptive transfer of CD11b+Ly-6C+ MDSCs significantly alleviated myocarditis accompanied by increased Th2 and Treg frequency and anti-inflammatory cytokines expression in the heart tissue. Moreover, Ly6C+ MDSCs, but not Ly6G+ cells, expressed Arg-1 and NOS2, and suppressed CD4+ T cell proliferation in vitro in an Arg-1-dependent mechanism; an event that was reversed with treatment of either an Arg-1 inhibitor or addition of excess L-arginine. Furthermore, Ly6C+ MDSCs co-expressed higher levels of F4/80, Tim-3, and IL-4Rα, and had the plasticity to up-regulate NOS2 or Arg-1 in response to IFN-γ or IL-4 treatment. The present results indicate that galectin-9 expands CD11b+Ly-6C+ MDSCs to ameliorate CVB3-induced myocarditis.

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