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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00327

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells in sepsis

  • 1Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Switzerland

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immature myeloid cells characterized by their immunosuppressive functions. MDSCs expand during chronic and acute inflammatory conditions, the best described being cancer. Recent studies uncovered an important role of MDSCs in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases along with sepsis. Here we discuss the mechanisms underlying the expansion and immunosuppressive functions of MDSCs, and the results of preclinical and clinical studies linking MDSCs to sepsis pathogenesis. Strikingly, all clinical studies to date suggest that high proportions of blood MDSCs are associated with clinical worsening, the incidence of nosocomial infections and/or mortality. Hence, MDSCs are attractive biomarkers and therapeutic targets for sepsis, especially because these cells are barely detectable in healthy subjects. Blocking MDSC-mediated immunosuppression and trafficking or depleting MDSCs might all improve sepsis outcome. While some key aspects of MDSCs biology need in depth investigations, exploring these avenues may participate to pave the way towards the implementation of personalized medicine and precision immunotherapy for patients suffering from sepsis.

Keywords: Sepsis, infectious diseases, innate immunity, Myeloid-derived suppressor cell, biomarker, Inflammation, Immunosuppression, personalized medicine, theranostics, Immunotherapy, Critical Illness

Received: 09 Jan 2019; Accepted: 08 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Celio G. Freire-de-Lima, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Reviewed by:

Hugo C. Castro-Faria-Neto, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil
Philip A. Efron, University of Florida, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Schrijver, Théroude and Roger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Thierry Roger, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, 1011, Vaud, Switzerland, Thierry.Roger@chuv.ch