Pathology & Oncology Research

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 269–275 | Cite as

Tumor-Associated Fibroblasts and Microvessels Contribute to the Expression of Immunosuppressive Factor Indoleamine 2, 3-Dioxygenase in Human Esophageal Cancers

  • Guanglin Cui
  • Can Li
  • Gang Xu
  • Zhenglu Sun
  • Li Zhu
  • Zhengfen Li
  • Wei Zheng
  • Junling Li
  • Aping Yuan
Original Article


Recent studies have provided considerable evidence to support the hypothesis that tumor stroma plays a crucial role in the induction of immune tolerance to human cancers. Here, we investigated the contribution of reactive stromal tumor-associated fibroblasts (TAFs) and microvessels to the immunosuppressive factor indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression in the ESCC microenvironment. The immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated a significant increased densities of TAFs and microvessels in the ESCC stroma, double IHCs showed that these increased TAFs and microvessels were with a high proliferation activity. Further IHC examinations revealed that increased expression of IDO were frequently observed in the stromal cells with TAF morphology and microvessels. Double immunofluorescence examinations confirmed the colocalization of IDO positive cells with SMA-alpha positive TAFs and CD34 positive endothelial cells in the ESCC stroma. Our current findings strongly suggest that the activated stromal TAFs and endothelial cells of microvessels contribute to the expression of IDO and then the orchestration of immunosuppressive microenvironment.


Fibroblasts Endothelial cells Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase Immunosuppression; carcinoma; esophagus 



Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma




Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase


Microvessel density


Tumor-associated fibroblast



This project was supported by the program of Innovation Scientists and Technicians Troop Construction Projects of Henan Province (C20150009) and by the grant from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University (2010-2015) to Cui G.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guanglin Cui
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Can Li
    • 1
  • Gang Xu
    • 1
  • Zhenglu Sun
    • 1
  • Li Zhu
    • 1
  • Zhengfen Li
    • 1
  • Wei Zheng
    • 1
  • Junling Li
    • 1
  • Aping Yuan
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group of Gastrointestinal Diseasesthe Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Faculty of HeathNord UniversityLevangerNorway
  3. 3.Department of Gastroenterologythe Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina

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