Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Their Potential Application in Transplantation

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Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous population of immunosuppressive cells of the myeloid lineage upregulated by mediators of inflammation, such as IL-2, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and S100A8/A9. These cells have been studied extensively by tumor biologists. Because of their robust immunosuppressive potential, MDSCs have stirred recent interest among transplant immunologists as well. MDSCs inhibit T-cell responses through, among other mechanisms, the activity of arginase-1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, and the expansion of T regulatory cells. In the context of transplantation, MDSCs have been studied in several animal models, and to a lesser degree in humans. Here, we will review the immunosuppressive qualities of this important cell type and discuss the relevant studies of MDSCs in transplantation. It may be possible to exploit the immunosuppressive capacity of MDSCs for the benefit of transplant patients.

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