Desmoplasia in Lymph Node Metastasis of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Reveals Activation of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts Pattern and T-helper 2 Immune Cell Infiltration

Eran Nizri, Shoshi Bar-David, Asaf Aizic, Neta Sternbach, Guy Lahat, Ido Wolf, Joseph Klausner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by a peritumoral proliferation of fibroblasts and extracellular matrix production known as desmoplasia. We aimed to study desmoplasia in PDAC lymph node (LN) metastases. Methods We evaluated LNs from 66 patients with PDAC and LN metastases. We used immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction to phenotype the desmoplastic response. Results Desmoplasia was identified in 57% of patients with LN metastases (Des+). Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in Des+ expressed α-smooth muscle actin and collagen 11A1. The latter expression was present only in CAFs but not in LN stroma or in LN metastases without desmoplasia (Des-). Desmoplasia was associated with upregulation of transforming growth factor β messenger RNA. Whereas numbers of CD8+ in tumor vicinity were not different between Des+ and Des- patients (78 [standard deviation {SD}, 57] vs 92 [SD, 52], P = 0.48, respectively), the numbers of GATA-3+ cells, a marker of T-helper 2 immune response was significantly increased (3.7 [SD, 6.3] for Des+ vs 1.3 [SD, 2.7] for Des-, P < 0.05). Conclusions Lymph node desmoplasia is associated with CAF pattern activation and Th2 infiltration. Therapeutic modulation of desmoplasia may be relevant in the metastatic phase and influence antitumor immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalPancreas
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Th immune response
  • desmoplasia
  • lymph node metastases
  • pancreatic adenocarcinoma

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