ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogenous population of immature myeloid cells hallmarked by their potent immunosuppressive function in a vast array of pathologic conditions. MDSCs have recently been shown to exhibit marked expansion in acute inflammatory states including traumatic injury, burn, and sepsis. Although MDSCs have been well characterized in cancer, there are significant gaps in our knowledge of their functionality in trauma and sepsis, and their clinical significance remains unclear. It is suggested that MDSCs serve an important role in quelling profound inflammatory responses in the acute setting; however, MDSC accumulation may also predispose patients to developing persistent immune dysregulation with increased risk for nosocomial infections, sepsis, and multiorgan failure. Whether MDSCs may serve as the target for novel therapeutics or an important biomarker in trauma and sepsis is yet to be determined. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of MDSCs within the context of specific traumatic injury types and sepsis. To improve delineation of their functional role, we propose a systemic approach to MDSC analysis including phenotypic standardization, longitudinal analysis, and expansion of clinical research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine