In glioblastoma (GBM), tumour-associated microglia/macrophages (TAMs) represent the major cell type of the stromal compartment and contribute to tumour immune escape mechanisms. Thus, targeting TAMs is emerging as a promising strategy for immunotherapy. However, TAM heterogeneity and metabolic adaptation along GBM progression represent critical features for the design of effective TAM-targeted therapies. Here, we comprehensively study the cellular and molecular changes of TAMs in the GL261 GBM mouse model, combining single-cell RNA-sequencing with flow cytometry and immunohistological analyses along GBM progression and in the absence of Acod1 (also known as Irg1), a key gene involved in the metabolic reprogramming of macrophages towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Similarly to patients, we identify distinct TAM profiles, mainly based on their ontogeny, that reiterate the idea that microglia- and macrophage-like cells show key transcriptional differences and dynamically adapt along GBM stages. Notably, we uncover decreased antigen-presenting cell features and immune reactivity in TAMs along tumour progression that are instead enhanced in Acod1-deficient mice. Overall, our results provide insight into TAM heterogeneity and highlight a novel role for Acod1 in TAM adaptation during GBM progression.
- metabolic reprogramming
- single-cell RNA-sequencing
- tumour-associated microglia/macrophages