Salmonella-mediated tumor regression involves targeting of tumor myeloid suppressor cells causing a shift to M1-like phenotype and reduction in suppressive capacity

Suneesh Kaimala, Yassir A. Mohamed, Nancy Nader, Jincy Issac, Eyad Elkord, Salem Chouaib, Maria J. Fernandez-Cabezudo, Basel K. Al-Ramadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


The effectiveness of attenuated Salmonella in inhibiting tumor growth has been demonstrated in many therapeutic models, but the precise mechanisms remain incompletely understood. In this study, we show that the anti-tumor capacity of Salmonella depends on a functional MyD88-TLR pathway and is independent of adaptive immune responses. Since myeloid suppressor cells play a critical role in tumor growth, we investigated the consequences of Salmonella treatment on myeloid cell recruitment, phenotypic characteristics, and functional activation in spleen and tumor tissue of B16.F1 melanoma-bearing mice. Salmonella treatment led to increased accumulation of splenic and intratumoral CD11b +Gr-1+ myeloid cells, exhibiting significantly increased expression of various activation markers such as MHC class II, costimulatory molecules, and Sca-1/Ly6A proteins. Gene expression analysis showed that Salmonella treatment induced expression of iNOS, arginase-1 (ARG1), and IFN-γ in the spleen, but down-regulated IL-4 and TGF-β. Within the tumor, expression of iNOS, IFN-γ, and S100A9 was markedly increased, but ARG1, IL-4, TGF-β, and VEGF were inhibited. Functionally, splenic CD11b+ cells maintained their suppressive capacity following Salmonella treatment, but intratumoral myeloid cells had significantly reduced suppressive capacity. Our findings demonstrate that administration of attenuated Salmonella leads to phenotypic and functional maturation of intratumoral myeloid cells making them less suppressive and hence enhancing the host's anti-tumor immune response. Modalities that inhibit myeloid suppressor cells may be useful adjuncts in cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-599
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Macrophages
  • Myeloid suppressor cells
  • Salmonella
  • Tumor immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Cite this