Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 5031–5037 | Cite as

The increase of circulating PD-L1-expressing CD68+ macrophage in ovarian cancer

  • Qiu-Xia Qu
  • Qin Huang
  • Yu Shen
  • Yi-Bei Zhu
  • Xue-Guang Zhang
Research Article


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have been characterized as a critical population of immunosuppressive cells in a variety of tumor types. PD-L1 (also termed B7-H1) has been described to exert co-inhibitory and immune regulatory functions. Here, in ovarian cancer, PD-L1 is selectively overexpressed on some TAM compared that of benign ovarian disease. When expanding the data in peripheral blood, the proportion of PD-L1+CD68+ cell among CD68+ cells and the intensity of PD-L1 staining on CD68+ cell in healthy group were similar to that observed in ovarian cyst group; instead, these two measures were significantly higher in ovarian cancer group, thereafter related to TNM stage. Interestingly, intracellular levels of IL-10, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ in PD-L1+CD68+ macrophage were higher than those in PD-L1CD68+ macrophage, especially IL-6 expression. Based on the PD-L1 receptor PD-1 expression on tumor-infiltrating cytotoxic cells, our data supported that expression of PD-L1 on TAM promoted apoptosis of T cells via interaction with PD-1 on CD8+T cells. Taken together, these results suggested that PD-L1-expressing macrophage represents a novel suppressor cell population in ovarian cancer, which contributes immune escape of ovarian cancer.


Ovarian carcinoma PD-L1 Tumor-associated macrophages Immune escape 



This work was supported by the “Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (81101556),” “Research Innovation Project for University Graduate Student in Jiangsu Province (CXZZ11_0110),” “Suzhou social development project (SYS201338)” and “Jiangsu Province’s Key laboratory of Medicine (XK201135).”

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Immunology InstituteThe First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Biology and Basic Medical Sciences, Biotechnology Research InstituteSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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