Radiographic contact of glioblastoma (GBM) tumors with the lateral ventricle and adjacent stem cell niche correlates with poor patient prognosis, but the cellular basis of this difference is unclear. Here, we reveal and functionally characterize distinct immune microenvironments that predominate in subtypes of GBM distinguished by proximity to the lateral ventricle. Mass cytometry analysis of isocitrate dehydrogenase wild-type human tumors identified elevated T cell checkpoint receptor expression and greater abundance of a specific CD32+CD44+HLA-DRhi macrophage population in ventricle-contacting GBM. Multiple computational analysis approaches, phospho-specific cytometry, and focal resection of GBMs validated and extended these findings. Phospho-flow quantified cytokine-induced immune cell signaling in ventricle-contacting GBM, revealing differential signaling between GBM subtypes. Subregion analysis within a given tumor supported initial findings and revealed intratumor compartmentalization of T cell memory and exhaustion phenotypes within GBM subtypes. Collectively, these results characterize immunotherapeutically targetable features of macrophages and suppressed lymphocytes in GBMs defined by MRI-detectable lateral ventricle contact.


Todd Bartkowiak, Sierra M. Lima, Madeline J. Hayes, Akshitkumar M. Mistry, Asa A. Brockman, Justine Sinnaeve, Nalin Leelatian, Caroline E. Roe, Bret C. Mobley, Silky Chotai, Kyle D. Weaver, Reid C. Thompson, Lola B. Chambless, Rebecca A. Ihrie, Jonathan M. Irish


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