Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) were first described over 20 years ago in patients with cancer. Their functional importance in tumor progression and immune suppression has not been recognized until recently. In general, MDSCs are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells (IMCs) that comprises myeloid progenitor cells, immature macrophages, immature granulocytes, and immature dendritic cells (DCs). They are present in an activated state that is characterized by increased production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), and arginase 1 (Arg1) (Corzo et al. 2009; Gabrilovich and Nagaraj 2009; Pan et al. 2008b). They are also potent suppressors of various T-cell functions (Huang et al. 2006).
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