Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a hematopoietic stem cell disorder affecting individuals over the age of 60 years. It is characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and extensive apoptosis of hematopoietic cells. MDS patients are at a high risk of transforming in to acute myeloid leukemia. The main cause of apoptosis and escape from immune surveillance in MDS is immune dysregulation caused by a number of factors such as aberrant cytokine production and influence of various immune cells. In the past decade various pro-inflammatory cytokines and a number of immune cells such as Natural Killer cells, regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T cells, mesenchymal stem cells, myeloid derived suppressor cells and dendritic cells have been implicated in immune dysregulation leading to MDS pathogenesis. In this review we focus on the current data available on the role of these immune factors.
Part of the book: Recent Developments in Myelodysplastic Syndromes