Cancer-derived transforming growth factor-β modulates tumor-associated macrophages in ampullary cancer

Li Chin Cheng, Ying Jui Chao, Chih Yang Wang, Nam Nhut Phan, Yi Ling Chen, Tzu Wen Wang, Hui Ping Hsu, Yih Jyh Lin, Yan Shen Shan, Ming Derg Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) originate from monocytes and differenti-ate into mature macrophages. The interaction between cancer cells and TAMs promotes tumor growth and suppresses immunosurveillance. However, this phenomenon has seldom been observed in ampullary cancer. Patients and Methods: TAMs in ampullary cancer were investigated using immunohisto-chemical (IHC) staining of cancer tissues. Bioinformatic analysis of data from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database revealed transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling in ampullary cancer. The complementary DNA microarray of cancer was compared with adjacent normal duodenum and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of serum was used to verify TGF-β signaling in patients. The THP-1 cell line was activated in vitro to imitate M2 TAMs. ClueGo and CluePedia software were operated to simulate TGF-β-related networks in ampullary cancer. Results: The IHC study revealed that the majority of TAMs inside ampullary cancer were cluster of differentiation (CD)163+ cells and that the expression of mature CD68+ macro-phages was correlated with advanced cancer stage. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that TGF-β and its downstream signaling were significantly upregulated. To verify our bioinfor-matics-derived predictions, we performed several experiments and demonstrated that increased TGF-β expression was detected in the cDNA microarray. Higher serum levels of TGF-β were correlated with fewer CD68+ and more inducible nitric oxide synthase macro-phages in ampullary cancer. Treatment with TGF-β induced modulation of THP-1-derived macrophages. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that TGF-β modulates macrophage activity in ampullary cancer. Targeting TGF-β could be an approach to activating immunosurveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7503-7516
Number of pages14
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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