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Topographical Distribution and Spatial Interactions of Innate and Semi-Innate Immune Cells in Pancreatic and Other Periampullary Adenocarcinoma

  • Lundgren, Sebastian
  • Micke, Patrick
  • Elebro, Jacob
  • Heby, Margareta
  • Hrynchyk, Ina
  • Nodin, Björn
  • Leandersson, Karin
  • Mezheyeuski, Artur
  • Jirström, Karin
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.558169
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Background: The clinical management of pancreatic and other periampullary neoplasms remains challenging. In contrast to other cancer types, immunotherapies are largely ineffective, and the reason for the deprived immune response and the immune inhibiting cellular composition is only fragmentarily understood. The aim of this study was to comprehensively map the abundance, topographic distribution and spatial interaction of innate and innate-like immune cells in the tumor microenvironment of periampullary adenocarcinoma. Methods: Multiplexed immunofluorescent imaging was performed on tissue microarrays with tumors from a consecutive cohort of 175 patients with resected periampullary adenocarcinoma. To obtain a detailed spatial analysis of immune cell infiltration, two multiplex immune panels including antibodies against CD3, NKp46, CD56, CD68, CD163 and CD1a, CD208, CD123, CD15, CD68 and pan-cytokeratin were applied. Results: The infiltration of natural killer (NK) and NK-like T (NKT) cells was lower in malignant compared to benign tissue. NKT cells were more abundant in intestinal type compared to pancreatobiliary type tumors, and were associated with more favorable clinicopathological features and a prolonged survival. The interaction of NKp46(+)NKT cells with macrophages was also associated with a prolonged survival. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive map of the innate immune landscape in periampullary adenocarcinoma. NK cells, and even more so NKT cells, are revealed to be central players in the local immune response in a clinically relevant context.

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