Superinduction of immunosuppressive glioblastoma extracellular vesicles by IFN-γthrough PD-L1 and IDO1

Mi Yeon Jung, Abudumijiti Aibaidula, Desmond A. Brown, Benjamin T. Himes, Luz M. Cumba Garcia, Ian F. Parney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common primary brain tumor, has a median survival of 15-16 months. Immunotherapy is promising but GBM-mediated immunosuppression remains a barrier. GBMs express the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)-responsive immunosuppressive molecules programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1). Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have also been implicated in GBM-mediated immunosuppression, in part through PD-L1. We therefore sought to determine if GBM IFN-γexposure increased GBM EV-mediated immunosuppression and mechanisms underlying this. Methods: Human GBM-derived cells were cultured in the presence/absence of IFN-γ. EVs were harvested. PD-L1, IDO1, and EV-associated protein expression was assessed. GBM EVs (+/-IFN-γ) were cultured with healthy donor monocytes. Immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) and nonclassical monocyte (NCM) frequency was determined. Impact of GBM (+/-IFN-γ) EV-treated monocytes on CD3/CD28-mediated T cell proliferation was assessed. The impact of PD-L1 and IDO1 knockdown in GBM EVs in this system was evaluated. Results: IFN-γexposure increased PD-L1 and IDO1 expression in GBM cells and EVs without altering EV size or frequency. IFN-γ-exposed GBM EVs induced more MDSC and NCM differentiation in monocytes and these monocytes caused more T cell inhibition than IFN-γ-naive GBM EVs. PD-L1 and/or IDO1 knockdown in GBM cells abrogated the immunosuppressive effects of IFN-γ-exposed GBM EVs on monocytes. Conclusions: IFN-γexposure such as might occur during an antitumor immune response results in superinduction of GBM EVs' baseline immunosuppressive effects on monocytes. These effects are mediated by increased PD-L1 and IDO1 expression in GBM EVs. These data highlight mechanisms of GBM EV-mediated immunosuppression and identify therapeutic targets (PD-L1, IDO1) to reverse these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbervdac017
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • IDO1
  • PD-L1
  • extracellular vesicles (EVs)
  • glioblastoma
  • interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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