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Overexpression of Semaphorin4D Indicates Poor Prognosis and Prompts Monocyte Differentiation toward M2 Macrophages in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

  • Chen, Ying (Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital) ;
  • Zhang, Lei (Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital) ;
  • Lv, Rui (Reproductive Medical Center, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital) ;
  • Zhang, Wen-Qi (Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital)
  • Published : 2013.10.30

Abstract

Previously, we demonstrated overexpression of semaphorin4D (SEMA4D, CD100) to be closely related to tumor angiogenesis in epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs). However, the function and expression of SEMA4D in the EOC microenvironment has yet to be clarified in detail. In this study, we confirmed that overexpression of SEMA4D in primary tumors and ascites was related to low differentiation, platinum resistance and a refractory status (P<0.05), while high M2 macrophage count and percentage were evident in EOC patients with advanced FIGO stage and platinum resistance (P<0.05), using immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), respectively. The data showed correlations of SEMA4D expression and M2 macrophage counts in primary tumors and M2 macrophage percentage in ascites (r=0.281 and 0.355, each P<0.05). In the Cox proportional hazard mode, SEMA4D expression was an independent indicator of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) for EOC patients. Furthermore, higher expression of SEMA4D in ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV3, A2780, and SW626) and their supernatants were found than that in a human primary cultured ovarian cell and its supernatant by reversed transcript PCR (RT-PCR), Western blotting and ELISA, respectively. Interestingly, peripheral blood monocytes (MOs) tended towards the M2-polarized macrophage phenotype ($CD163^{high}$) in vitro after human recombined soluble SEMA4D protein stimulation. These findings suggest that SEMA4D might possibly serve as a reliable tool for early and accurate prediction of EOC poor prognosis and could playan important role in promoting tumor dissemination and metastasis in the EOC microenvironment. Thus SEMA4D and its role in macrophage polarization in EOC warrants further study.

Keywords

Semaphorin4D;ascites;macrophage;ovarian cancer;prognosis

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