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A Single-Cell Immune Atlas of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Reveals Novel Immune Cell Subsets

By Si Qiu, Ruoxi Hong, Zhenkun Zhuang, Yuan Li, Linnan Zhu, Xinxin Lin, Qiufan Zheng, Shang Liu, Kai Zhang, Mengxian Huang, Kaping Lee, Qianyi Lu, Wen Xia, Fei Xu, Xi Wang, Jun Tang, Xiangsheng Xiao, Weidong Wei, Zhongyu Yuan, Yanxia Shi, Yong Hou, Xiuqing Zhang, Jian Wang, Huanming Yang, Qimin Zhan, Bo Li, Shusen Wang

Posted 05 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/566968

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, which recently attracts great interest for immune therapeutic development. In this context, in-depth understanding of TNBC immune landscape is highly demanded. Here we report single-cell RNA sequencing results of 9683 tumor-infiltrated immune cells isolated from 14 treatment naive TNBC tumors, where 22 immune cell subsets, including T cells, macrophages, B cells, and DCs have been characterized. We identify a new T cell subset, CD8+CXCL8+ naive T cell, which associates with poor survival. A novel immune cell subset comprised of TCR+ macrophages, is found to be widely distributed in TNBC tumors. Further analyses reveal an up-regulation of molecules associated with TCR signaling and cytotoxicity in these immune cells, indicating TCR signaling activation. Altogether, our study provides a valuable resource to understand the immune ecosystem of TNBC. The novel immune cell subsets reported herein might be functionally important in cancer immunity.

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