Preferential migration of regulatory T cells mediated by glioma-secreted chemokines can be blocked with chemotherapy

Justin T. Jordan, Wei Sun, S. Farzana Hussain, Guillermo DeAngulo, Sujit S. Prabhu, Amy B. Heimberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Despite the immunogenicity of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), immune-mediated eradication of these tumors remains deficient. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the blood and within the tumor microenvironment of GBM patients are known to contribute to their dismal immune responses. Here, we determined which chemokine secreted by gliomas can preferentially induce Treg recruitment and migration. In the malignant human glioma cell lines D-54, U-87, U-251, and LN-229, the chemokines CCL22 and CCL2 were detected by intracellular cytokine analysis. Furthermore, tumor cells from eight patients with GBM had a similar chemokine expression profile. However, only CCL2 was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indicating that CCL2 may be the principal chemokine for Treg migration in GBM patients. Interestingly, the Tregs from GBM patients had significantly higher expression levels of the CCL2 receptor CCR4 than did Tregs from healthy controls. Glioma supernatants and the recombinant human chemokines CCL2 and CCL22 induced Treg migration and were blocked by antibodies to the chemokine receptors. Production of CCL2 by glioma cells could also be mitigated by the chemotherapeutic agents temozolomide and carmustine [3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea]. Our results indicate that gliomas augment immunosuppression by selective chemokine-mediated recruitment of Tregs into the tumor microenvironment and that modulating this interaction with chemotherapy could facilitate the development of novel immunotherapeutics to malignant gliomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokines
  • Gliomas
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Tumor immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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