Astaxanthin Treatment Induces Maturation and Functional Change of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Tumor-Bearing Mice.
Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Apr 23 ;9(4). Epub 2020 Apr 23. PMID: 32340271
Seong Mun Jeong
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immature myeloid cells which accumulate in stress conditions such as infection and tumor. Astaxanthin (ATX) is a well-known antioxidant agent and has a little toxicity. It has been reported that ATX treatment induces antitumor effects via regulation of cell signaling pathways, including nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling. In the present study, we hypothesized that treatment with ATX might induce maturation of MDSCs and modulate their immunosuppressive activity. Both in vivo and in vitro treatment with ATX resulted in up-regulation of surface markers such as CD80, MHC class II, and CD11c on both polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs and mononuclear (Mo)-MDSCs. Expression levels of functional mediators involved in immune suppression were significantly reduced, whereas mRNA levels of Nrf2 target genes were increased in ATX-treated MDSCs. In addition, ATX was found to have antioxidant activity reducing reactive oxygen species level in MDSCs. Finally, ATX-treated MDSCs were immunogenic enough to induce cytotoxic T lymphocyte response and contributed to the inhibition of tumor growth. This demonstrates the role of ATX as a regulator of the immunosuppressive tumor environment through induction of differentiation and functional conversion of MDSCs.