Myeloid-derived suppressor cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells are associated with oncogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Atsumu Kouketsu, Saito Haruka, Kanako Kuroda, Miyashita Hitoshi, Yamauchi Kensuke, Sugiura Tsuyoshi, Tetsu Takahashi, Kumamoto Hiroyuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) help establish the tumor microenvironment by suppressing T-cell response in tumor-bearing hosts. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) activate antigen-specific T cells, thereby, maximizing their antitumor effects. IDO1 is associated with both MDSCs and pDCs and plays a major role in the formation of the tumor-mediated immunosuppressive environment. We utilized immunohistochemistry to examine the involvement of IDO1 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs, precancerous lesions). We examined the expression of MDSC markers, CD11b and CD33, as well as pDC markers, CD303 and IDO1, in 60 OSCC and 45 precancerous lesion specimens and analyzed their association with clinicopathological parameters. Expression of these biomarkers identifying MDSCs and pDCs was high in precancerous lesions in patients with severe dysplasia and OSCC. While detecting pDCs, high CD303 and IDO1 expression levels were frequently observed in moderately or poorly differentiated OSCCs. CD11b, CD33, and CD303 levels were significantly correlated with the mode of invasion; CD33 was correlated with OSCC invasion depth while the other three markers tended to be highly expressed in superficial cancer cases showing microinvasion. Expression levels of all four biomarkers were significantly associated with the cancerization of OPMDs to OSCCs. We show, for the first time, that the infiltration of MDSCs and pDCs is significantly associated with progression of premalignant lesions to OSCC. This suggests that these cells may act as prognostic biomarkers for premalignant lesion progression and that immunotherapeutic approaches that control each of these immunosuppressive cells may protect against progression to malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • myeloid-derived suppressor cell
  • oral cancer
  • oral epithelial precursor lesion
  • plasmacytoid dendritic cells
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics


Dive into the research topics of 'Myeloid-derived suppressor cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells are associated with oncogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this