Monocyte depletion enhances neutrophil influx and proneural to mesenchymal transition in glioblastoma

Zhihong Chen, Nishant Soni, Gonzalo Pinero, Bruno Giotti, Devon J. Eddins, Katherine E. Lindblad, James L. Ross, Montserrat Puigdelloses Vallcorba, Tanvi Joshi, Angelo Angione, Wes Thomason, Aislinn Keane, Nadejda M. Tsankova, David H. Gutmann, Sergio A. Lira, Amaia Lujambio, Eliver E.B. Ghosn, Alexander M. Tsankov, Dolores Hambardzumyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Myeloid cells comprise the majority of immune cells in tumors, contributing to tumor growth and therapeutic resistance. Incomplete understanding of myeloid cells response to tumor driver mutation and therapeutic intervention impedes effective therapeutic design. Here, by leveraging CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing, we generate a mouse model that is deficient of all monocyte chemoattractant proteins. Using this strain, we effectively abolish monocyte infiltration in genetically engineered murine models of de novo glioblastoma (GBM) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which show differential enrichment patterns for monocytes and neutrophils. Eliminating monocyte chemoattraction in monocyte enriched PDGFB-driven GBM invokes a compensatory neutrophil influx, while having no effect on Nf1-silenced GBM model. Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals that intratumoral neutrophils promote proneural-to-mesenchymal transition and increase hypoxia in PDGFB-driven GBM. We further demonstrate neutrophil-derived TNF-a directly drives mesenchymal transition in PDGFB-driven primary GBM cells. Genetic or pharmacological inhibiting neutrophils in HCC or monocyte-deficient PDGFB-driven and Nf1-silenced GBM models extend the survival of tumor-bearing mice. Our findings demonstrate tumor-type and genotype dependent infiltration and function of monocytes and neutrophils and highlight the importance of targeting them simultaneously for cancer treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1839
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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