In situexpression of the CCL20–CCR6 axis in lymphocyte-rich gastric cancer and its potential role in the formation of lymphoid stroma


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Abstract

Lymphocyte-rich gastric cancer (Ly-rich GC) is characterized by lymphoid stroma. To understand its formation, we studied the expression of a chemokine ligand (CCL)20 and its receptor CCR6 in 36 and 37 cases of Ly-rich- and conventional GC, respectively. Lymphoid tissues in the alimentary tract were studied in parallel. By quantitative polymerase chain reaction, Ly-rich GC contained CCL20 and CCR6 mRNAs at higher levels than conventional GC. By immunohistochemistry, CCL20 was expressed by cancer cells more frequently in Ly-rich GC than in conventional GC. This was comparable with its expression in epithelial cells of the alimentary tract lymphoid tissues. CCR6 was mostly expressed by dendritic cells (DC) and B cells in Ly-rich GC, which was also comparable with its expression in the alimentary tract lymphoid tissues. Cancer cells also expressed CCR6. However, its expression did not differ between Ly-rich- and conventional GC, nor was it related to the stage of cancer. Given that the CCL20–CCR6 axis is involved in the formation of alimentary tract lymphoid tissue, the similarity between the lymphoid stroma of Ly-rich GC and the alimentary tract lymphoid tissues supports the notion that it plays a significant role in the formation of lymphoid stroma in Ly-rich GC.

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