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Temporal and spatial modulation of the tumor and systemic immune response in the murine Gl261 glioma model

Authors: McKelvey, Kelly J.; Hudson, Amanda L.; Kumar, Ramyashree Prasanna; Wilmott, James S.; Attrill, Grace H.; Long, Georgina V.; Scolyer, Richard A.; Clarke, Stephen J.; Wheeler, Helen R.; Diakos, Connie I.; Howell, Viive M.

Online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226444 https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226444

Issue: PLoS One. 2020 Apr 2;15(4):e0226444.


Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of glioma, has a 5-year survival rate of <5%. While radiation and immunotherapies are routinely studied in the murine Gl261 glioma model, little is known about its inherent immune response. This study quantifies the temporal and spatial localization of immune cell populations and mediators during glioma development. Eight-week old male C57Bl/6 mice were orthotopically inoculated with 1×106 Gl261 cells and tumor morphology, local and systemic immune cell populations, and plasma cytokines/chemokines assessed at day 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 post-inoculation by magnetic resonance imaging, chromogenic immunohistochemistry, multiplex immunofluorescent immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and multiplex immunoassay respectively. From day 3 tumors were distinguishable with >30% Ki67 and increased tissue vascularization (p<0.05). Increasing tumor proliferation/malignancy and vascularization were associated with significant temporal changes in immune cell populations within the tumor (p<0.05) and systemic compartments (p = 0.02 to p<0.0001). Of note, at day 14 16/24 plasma cytokine/chemokines levels decreased coinciding with an increase in tumor cytotoxic T cells, natural killer and natural killer/T cells. Data derived provide baseline characterization of the local and systemic immune response during glioma development. They reveal that type II macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells are more prevalent in tumors than regulatory T cells, highlighting these cell types for further therapeutic exploration.