Extracellular vesicles shed from gastric cancer mediate protumor macrophage differentiation

Atene Ito, Shunsuke Kagawa, Shuichi Sakamoto, Kazuya Kuwada, Hiroki Kajioka, Masashi Yoshimoto, Satoru Kikuchi, Shinji Kuroda, Ryuichi Yoshida, Hiroshi Tazawa, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Peritoneal dissemination often develops in gastric cancer. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are present in the peritoneal cavity of gastric cancer patients with peritoneal dissemination, facilitating tumor progression. However, the mechanism by which macrophages differentiate into tumor-associated macrophages in the peritoneal cavity is not well understood. In this study, the interplay between gastric cancer-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) and macrophages was investigated. Methods: The association between macrophages and EVs in peritoneal ascitic fluid of gastric cancer patients, or from gastric cancer cell lines was examined, and their roles in differentiation of macrophages and potentiation of the malignancy of gastric cancer were further explored. Results: Immunofluorescent assays of the ascitic fluid showed that M2 macrophages were predominant along with the cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity. EVs purified from gastric cancer cells, as well as malignant ascitic fluid, differentiated peripheral blood mononuclear cell-derived macrophages into the M2-like phenotype, which was demonstrated by their morphology and expression of CD163/206. The macrophages differentiated by gastric cancer-derived EVs promoted the migration ability of gastric cancer cells, and the EVs carried STAT3 protein. Conclusion: EVs derived from gastric cancer play a role by affecting macrophage phenotypes, suggesting that this may be a part of the underlying mechanism that forms the intraperitoneal cancer microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Gastric cancer
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Tumor-associated macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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