The aim of this study was to assess the significance of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and their association with IL-6 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We examined the percentage of CD11b+CD14+HLA-DR- myeloid cells and the levels of IL-6 in the peripheral blood of 50 patients with esophageal SCC and 12 healthy controls. Moreover, we evaluated the relationship between MDSC recruitment, IL-6 levels, and tumor progression by adding 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO) to the drinking water of mice to induce esophageal tumors. Here we demonstrated that circulating CD11b+CD14+HLA-DR- cells were significantly increased in esophageal SCC patients compared with healthy people, and this was associated with the clinical stage, treatment response and circulating IL-6 levels. In a 4-NQO-induced esophageal tumor animal model, MDSC recruitment was associated with invasive esophageal tumors and with increased IL-6 levels. IL-6 stimulated reactive oxygen species, arginase 1 and p-STAT3 in MDSCs. Blockade of IL-6 prevented induction of MDSCs and the incidence of 4-NQO- induced invasive tumors. In conclusion, the levels of MDSCs and IL-6 predicted the prognosis of patients with esophageal SCC. Moreover, we suggest inhibition of IL-6 as a potential strategy for the treatment of esophageal SCC.
- Esophageal SCC
ASJC Scopus subject areas