American Association for Cancer Research
00085472can192745-sup-228351_3_supp_6371483_qc7h7f.pdf (78.14 kB)

Figure S5 from CXCR4 in Tumor Epithelial Cells Mediates Desmoplastic Reaction in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-31, 03:27 authored by Toshihiro Morita, Yuzo Kodama, Masahiro Shiokawa, Katsutoshi Kuriyama, Saiko Marui, Takeshi Kuwada, Yuko Sogabe, Tomoaki Matsumori, Nobuyuki Kakiuchi, Teruko Tomono, Atsushi Mima, Tatsuki Ueda, Motoyuki Tsuda, Yuki Yamauchi, Yoshihiro Nishikawa, Yojiro Sakuma, Yuji Ota, Takahisa Maruno, Norimitsu Uza, Takashi Nagasawa, Tsutomu Chiba, Hiroshi Seno

Myofibroblasts secrete Cola 1a1 and Cxcl12 in tumor environment.


Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology



Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) features abundant stromal cells with an excessive extracellular matrix (ECM), termed the desmoplastic reaction. CXCR4 is a cytokine receptor for stromal cell-derived factor-1 (CXCL12) expressed in PDAC, but its roles in PDAC and the characteristic desmoplastic reaction remain unclear. Here, we generated a mouse model of PDAC with conditional knockout of Cxcr4 (KPC-Cxcr4-KO) by crossing Cxcr4 flox mice with Pdx1-Cre;KrasLSL-G12D/+;Trp53LSL-R172H/+ (KPC-Cxcr4-WT) mice to assess the development of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and pancreatic cancers. Tumor cell characteristics of those two types were analyzed in vitro. In addition, CXCR4 expression in human pancreatic cancer specimens was evaluated by IHC staining. In KPC-Cxcr4-KO mice, the number and pathologic grade of PanIN lesions were reduced, but the frequency of pancreatic cancers did not differ from that in KPC-Cxcr4-WT mice. The pancreatic tumor phenotype in KPC-Cxcr4-KO mice was significantly larger and undifferentiated, characterized by abundant vimentin-expressing cancer cells, significantly fewer fibroblasts, and markedly less deposition of ECM. In vitro, KPC-Cxcr4-KO tumor cells exhibited higher proliferative and migratory activity than KPC-Cxcr4-WT tumor cells. Myofibroblasts induced invasion activity in KPC-Cxcr4-WT tumor cells, showing an epithelial–mesenchymal interaction, whereas KPC-Cxcr4-KO tumor cells were unaffected by myofibroblasts, suggesting their unique nature. In human pancreatic cancer, undifferentiated carcinoma did not express CXCR4 and exhibited histologic and IHC features similar to those in KPC-Cxcr4-KO mice. In summary, the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis may play an important role in the desmoplastic reaction in PDAC, and loss of CXCR4 induces phenotype changes in undifferentiated carcinoma without a desmoplastic reaction. The current study uncovers CXCR4 as a key regulator of desmoplastic reaction in PDAC and opens the way for new therapeutic approaches to overcome the chemoresistance in patients with PDAC.

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