Inhibition of Caveolin-1 Restores Myeloid Cell Function in Human Glioblastoma

Shimato, Shinji; Anderson, Lisa M.; Asslaber, Martin; Bruce, Jeffrey N.; Canoll, Peter D.; Anderson, David E.; Anderson, Richard C. E.


Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumor in both children and adults. The prognosis for glioblastoma (GBM), the most common type of malignant glioma, has remained dismal, with median survival a little over one year despite maximal therapy with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Although immunotherapy has become increasingly successful against many systemic tumors, clinical efficacy against brain tumors has been limited. One reason for this is an incomplete understanding of the local immunologic tumor microenvironment, particularly the function of large numbers of infiltrating myeloid derived cells. Monocytes/microglia are myeloid derived immunomodulatory cells, and they represent the predominant infiltrating immune cell population in gliomas. Our group has previously demonstrated using complementary in vitro and in vivo approaches that GBM tumor cells polarize tumor-associated myeloid cells (TAMs) and suppress their immunostimulatory function.

Methods and Results:

To better understand the mechanisms responsible for this immunosuppression, we used gene expression profiling of stimulated monocytes in the presence or absence of GBM tumor cells. Our analysis identified caveolin-1 (CAV1), a plasma membrane molecule with pleiotropic functions, as significantly up-regulated in monocytes in the presence of GBMs. We validated these findings ex vivo by confirming up-regulation of CAV1 in TAMs isolated from GBMs immediately after surgical resection. Finally, we demonstrate that siRNA inhibition of CAV1 restores myeloid cell function, as measured by TNF-alpha secretion, in the presence of GBMs.


Restoration of TAM function through pharmacologic blockage of CAV1 may facilitate more successful immunotherapeutic strategies directed against a variety of solid human tumors infiltrated by TAMs.


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Academic Units
Neurological Surgery
Pathology and Cell Biology
Published Here
November 22, 2016