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Altered Spatial Composition of the Immune Cell Repertoire in Association to CD34+ Blasts in Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Authors: Bauer, Marcus; Vaxevanis, Christoforos; Al-Ali, Haifa Kathrin; Jaekel, Nadja; Naumann, Christin Le Hoa; Schaffrath, Judith; Rau, Achim; Seliger, Barbara; Wickenhauser, Claudia

Online: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/2/186

Issue: Cancers (Basel) . 2021 Jan 7;13(2):186.


Background: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are caused by a stem cell failure and often include a dysfunction of the immune system. However, the relationship between spatial immune cell distribution within the bone marrow (BM), in relation to genetic features and the course of disease has not been analyzed in detail. Methods: Histotopography of immune cell subpopulations and their spatial distribution to CD34+ hematopoietic cells was determined by multispectral imaging (MSI) in 147 BM biopsies (BMB) from patients with MDS, secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML), and controls. Results: In MDS and sAML samples, a high inter-tumoral immune cell heterogeneity in spatial proximity to CD34+ blasts was found that was independent of genetic alterations, but correlated to blast counts. In controls, no CD8+ and FOXP3+ T cells and only single MUM1p+ B/plasma cells were detected in an area of ≤10 µm to CD34+ HSPC. Conclusions: CD8+ and FOXP3+ T cells are regularly seen in the 10 µm area around CD34+ blasts in MDS/sAML regardless of the course of the disease but lack in the surrounding of CD34+ HSPC in control samples. In addition, the frequencies of immune cell subsets in MDS and sAML BMB differ when compared to control BMB providing novel insights in immune deregulation.