Tumor-associated macrophages in classical Hodgkin lymphoma: hormetic relationship to outcome

Werner L, Dreyer JH, Hartmann D, Barros MHM, Büttner-Herold M, Grittner U, Niedobitek G (2020)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2020


Book Volume: 10

Article Number: 9410

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-66010-z


Commonly attributed to the prevalence of M2 macrophages, tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are linked to poor outcome in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). MYC is supposed to control the expression of M2-specific genes in macrophages, and deficiency in MYC-positive macrophages inhibits tumor growth in mouse models. To verify this hypothesis for HL, seventy-six samples were subjected to immunohistochemical double staining using CD68 or CD163 macrophage-specific antibodies and a reagent detecting MYC. For each cell population, labelled cells were grouped according to low, intermediate and high numbers and related to disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). MYC+ cells accounted for 21% and 18% of CD68+ and CD163+ cells, respectively. Numbers of MYC− macrophages were significantly higher in EBV+ cases while no differences were observed for MYC+ macrophages between EBV+ and EBV− cases. Cases with highest numbers of macrophages usually showed worst DFS and OS. In most scenarios, intermediate numbers of macrophages were associated with better outcome than very low or very high numbers. Our observations are reminiscent of the “hormesis hypothesis” and suggest that a relative lack of TAM may allow HL growth while macrophages display an inhibitory effect with increasing numbers. Above a certain threshold, TAM may again support tumor growth.

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Werner, L., Dreyer, J.H., Hartmann, D., Barros, M.H.M., Büttner-Herold, M., Grittner, U., & Niedobitek, G. (2020). Tumor-associated macrophages in classical Hodgkin lymphoma: hormetic relationship to outcome. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66010-z


Werner, Laura, et al. "Tumor-associated macrophages in classical Hodgkin lymphoma: hormetic relationship to outcome." Scientific Reports 10.1 (2020).

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