Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification of myeloid derived suppressor cells in the peripheral blood of tumor bearing dogs

Matthew Sherger2, William Kisseberth2, Cheryl London2, Susan Olivo-Marston3 and Tracey L Papenfuss1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH, USA

2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH, USA

3 Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, 1841 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:209  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-209

Published: 31 October 2012



Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a recently described population of immune cells that significantly contribute to the immunosuppression seen in cancer patients. MDSCs are one of the most important factors that limit the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy (e.g. cancer vaccines) and MDSC levels are increased in cancer in multiple species. Identifying and targeting MDSCs is actively being investigated in the field of human oncology and is increasingly being investigated in veterinary oncology. The treatment of canine cancer not only benefits dogs, but is being used for translational studies evaluating and modifcying candidate therapies for use in humans. Thus, it is necessary to understand the immune alterations seen in canine cancer patients which, to date, have been relatively limited. This study investigates the use of commercially available canine antibodies to detect an immunosuppressive (CD11blow/CADO48low) cell population that is increased in the peripheral blood of tumor-bearing dogs.


Commercially available canine antibodies CD11b and CADO48A were used to evaluate white blood cells from the peripheral blood cells of forty healthy control dogs and forty untreated, tumor-bearing dogs. Tumor-bearing dogs had a statistically significant increase in CD11blow/CADO48Alow cells (7.9%) as compared to the control dogs (3.6%). Additionally, sorted CD11blow/CADO48Alow generated in vitro suppressed the proliferation of canine lymphocytes.


The purpose of this study was aimed at identifying potential canine specific markers for identifying MDSCs in the peripheral blood circulation of dogs. This study demonstrates an increase in a unique CD11blow/CADO48Alow cell population in tumor-bearing dogs. This immunophenotype is consistent with described phenotypes of MDSCs in other species (i.e. mice) and utilizes commercially available canine-specific antibodies. Importantly, CD11blow/CADO48Alow from a tumor environment suppress the proliferation of lymphocytes. These results provide a useful phenotype of cells increased in canine cancer patients that may serve as a useful prognostic marker for assessing immune status and functional response to cancer immunotherapies in dogs. Understanding MDSCs in dogs will allow for increased effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy in both dogs and humans.

Myeloid derived suppressor cells; Cancer immunotherapy; Immunosuppression