While the tumor microenvironment has been known to play an integral role in tumor progression, the function of non-resident bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) remains to be determined in neurological tumors. Here we identified the contribution of BMDC recruitment in mediating malignant transformation from low- to high-grade gliomas.


We analyzed human blood and tumor samples from patients with low- and high-grade gliomas. A spontaneous platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) murine glioma model (RCAS) was utilized to recapitulate human disease progression. Levels of CD11b+/Gr1+ BMDCs were analyzed at discrete stages of tumor progression. Using bone marrow transplantation, we determined the unique influence of BMDCs in the transition from low- to high-grade glioma. The functional role of these BMDCs was then examined using a JAK 1/2 inhibitor (AZD1480).


CD11b+ myeloid cells were significantly increased during tumor progression in peripheral blood and tumors of glioma patients. Increases in CD11b+/Gr1+ cells were observed in murine peripheral blood, bone marrow, and tumors during low-grade to high-grade transformation. Transient blockade of CD11b+ cell expansion using a JAK 1/2 Inhibitor (AZD1480) impaired mobilization of these cells and was associated with a reduction in tumor volume, maintenance of a low-grade tumor phenotype and prolongation in survival.


We demonstrate that impaired recruitment of CD11b+ myeloid cells with a JAK1/2 inhibitor inhibits glioma progression in vivo and prolongs survival in a murine glioma model.