Immunologic Research

, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 757–768 | Cite as

Myeloid cells expressing high level of CD45 are associated with a distinct activated phenotype in glioma

  • Susan Brandenburg
  • Kati Turkowski
  • Annett Mueller
  • Yordan T. Radev
  • Sabine Seidlitz
  • Peter Vajkoczy
Original Article


Glioblastoma multiforme is characterized by high accumulation of microglia/macrophages. The function of these tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells is not sufficiently elucidated. Therefore, a better understanding of the precise immune cell composition and function in brain tumors is required. In rodent glioma models, two different myeloid cell populations exist, determined by the expression level of CD45, namely CD11b+CD45low and CD11b+CD45high. Previous analyses of cytokine and marker expression profiles were almost exclusively performed on the entire myeloid cell fraction. Consequently, described pro- and anti-tumoral characteristics were not assigned to the evident subpopulations. In the present study, we used a syngeneic glioblastoma mouse model and subsequent flow cytometric analyses to demonstrate the distinct properties of CD11b+CD45high and the CD11b+CD45low cells. First, the majority of CD11b+CD45high cells expressed high level of GR1 and around 6% of IL10 representing in part features of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, while the CD11b+CD45low fraction displayed no upregulation of these molecules. Second, we detected that specifically the CD11b+CD45high population showed antigen-presenting, co-stimulatory, and inflammatory features. Here, we identified up to 80% of MHCII and approximately 50% of CD86 and TNFα-expressing cells. Investigation of MHCI and CD80 revealed a moderate upregulation. By contrast, in the CD11b+CD45low cell fraction, merely MHCII and TNFα were marginally overexpressed. In summary, these data emphasize the specific phenotype of CD11b+CD45high cells in glioma with suppressive as well as pro-inflammatory characteristics whereas the CD11b+CD45low cells were almost unaffected. Hence, primarily, the subpopulation consisting of CD45high-expressing cells is activated by the tumor and should be considered as therapeutic target.


Microglia/macrophages CD11b+CD45+ Brain tumor GR1 MDSC 



The authors thank Prof. Dr. Michael Synowitz (Charité, Berlin; UKSH, Kiel) for assistance with this study. Additionally, we thank Matthäus Felsenstein, Daphne Felsenstein-Moore, and Alexander D. Bungert for critical reading of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Animal experiments were conducted according to the German Law for Animal Protection and the National Institute of Health Guidelines for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The protocol for the animal studies was approved by the Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales, Berlin (Permit Number: LaGeSo No. G0152/09).


This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) SPP1190 and SFB TRR43.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Brandenburg
    • 1
  • Kati Turkowski
    • 1
  • Annett Mueller
    • 1
  • Yordan T. Radev
    • 1
  • Sabine Seidlitz
    • 1
  • Peter Vajkoczy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental NeurosurgeryCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryCharité – Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany

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