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4691 Cells of the Osteoblast Lineage Cross-Talk with Myeloid‑Derived Suppressor Cells to Promote Multiple Myeloma Growth

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 651. Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Dyscrasias: Basic and Translational: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Fundamental Science, Research, Plasma Cell Disorders, Diseases, Lymphoid Malignancies
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Xiaoxuan Xu, MD, PhD*, Wei Zhou, M.D.*, Tingfen Deng, M.D.*, Qinghua Cai* and Shunqing Wang, M.D., Ph.D.*

Department of Hematology, Guangzhou First People's Hospital, the Second Affiliated Hospital of South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy that thrives in the bone marrow (BM) and is highly influenced by the BM tumor microenvironment. Osteolytic bone disease is a hallmark of MM and is partly due to osteoblast (OB) inhibition. MM cells suppress osteoblast maturation and function via inhibition of the critical Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) in immature OBs. However, immature cells of the osteoblast lineage (e.g. pre-osteoblasts) remain present and even increased in the MM bone microenvironment and their contribution to the progression of MM has not been well understood. We previously developed a syngeneic mouse model of MM in which Runx2 is specifically deleted in the immature OBs of C57BL6/KaLwRij mice (OB-Runx2-/- mice), and demonstrated that OB-Runx2 deficiency creates a highly inflammatory BM microenvironment that is responsible for MM cell bone-homing to new bone sites. We therefore hypothesize that pre-osteoblasts play a role as promoters of MM cell survival and proliferation.

To determine the direct effect of pre-osteoblasts on MM cells, we established co-cultures of pre-osteoblasts with MM cells. 5TGM1 murine MM cells were cocultured with MC3T3 murine pre-osteoblasts and newborn mouse calvarial pre-osteoblasts respectively. Within 48hrs of co-culture, each of pre-osteoblast populations slightly stimulated proliferation of 5TGM1 MM cells. These data suggest that pre-osteoblasts do not directly affect myeloma growth in vitro. Therefore, we next focus our studies on the role of pre-osteoblasts in MM progression in vivo.

Firstly, we used OB-Runx2 deficient mouse model to assess the impact of pre-osteoblast accumulation on MM progression in vivo. 2x105 5TGM1-Luciferase MM cells were injected into the right tibia of OB-Runx2-/- mice and control mice. Bioluminescence imaging and serum IgG2bκ (a soluble marker of 5TGM1 MM cells) ELISA demonstrated that, compared with controls, OB-Runx2-/- mice had a much larger tumor burden. Following, to more thoroughly evaluate the role of pre-osteoblasts in early stage of MM cell engraftment in bones, we used MC3T3 murine pre-osteoblasts to modulate pre-osteoblast populations at the sites of MM engraftment. 2x105 5TGM1-Luciferase MM cells were injected directly into the right tibia of NSG mice with or without equal numbers of MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts. Tumors grew significantly larger when co-injected with 5TGM1 MM cells and MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts than injected with 5TGM1 MM cells alone, which was confirmed by luciferin imaging and serum IgG2bκ ELISA. These data suggest that pre-osteoblasts provide critical support for MM progression in vivo.

Given that pre-osteoblasts have no direct effect on the growth of MM cells in vitro, we hypothesized that the pre-osteoblastic niche may regulate MM cells via other intermediary cells in BM. We previously showed that OB-Runx2 deficiency induces an immunosuppressive BM microenvironment that is marked by an increase of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). To investigate whether pre-osteoblasts support MM cell survival and proliferation through the functional crosstalk with MDSCs, 5TGM1 MM cells were co-cultured with MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts and mouse calvarial pre-osteoblasts respectively in the presence or absence of MDSCs. Interestingly, pre-osteoblasts significantly promoted the proliferation of MM cells under the existence of MDSCs. To extend these findings in vivo, we next determined whether MDSC depletion can alleviate the promoting effect of pre-osteoblasts on MM progression. Gemcitabine (GEM) is an FDA-approved anti-cancer agent and MDSC inhibitor used in the treatment of solid tumors but not commonly used in MM therapy. We again injected 5TGM1-Luciferase MM cells into the right tibia of NSG mice with or without co-injection of MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts. We treated tumor-bearing mice with PBS or GEM (i.p. 30 mg/kg/week) for 4 weeks. Bioluminescence imaging and serum IgG2bκ ELISA demonstrated that GEM could overcome the proliferative effect of pre-osteoblasts on MM cells in mouse model, and this effect was independent of NK, B and T cells.

Taken together, using in vivo and in vitro models, we show that pre-osteoblasts have a positive regulatory impact on MM cells through communication with MDSCs. Ongoing mechanistic studies aim to delineate how pre-osteoblasts modulate the functions of MDSCs to promote MM progression.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH