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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Exploring the CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 Axis in Primary Desmoid Tumors

Author(s): Edoardo Andrea Baccalini, Salvatore Lorenzo Renne, Piergiuseppe Colombo, Fabio Pasqualini, Vittorio Lorenzo Quagliuolo, Ferdinando Carlo Maria Cananzi, Fabio Grizzi* and Elena Monica Borroni

Volume 23, Issue 20, 2023

Published on: 26 October, 2023

Page: [2248 - 2253] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1871520623666230207091429

Price: $65


Background: Desmoid tumors have an extremely variable natural history. The uncertainty behind desmoid behavior reflects the complexity, which subtends its development and non-linear advancement. Apart from Wnt- βcatenin mutation, estrogen receptors, and COX-2 overexpression, little is known about the ability of desmoids to grow and recur while being unable to metastasize. Several tumors have been shown to express the CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis, whose functions are essential for tumoral development.

Aims: This study aimed to investigate the expression of the CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis in primary desmoid tumors and discuss the potential role of this key-signaling as an antiangiogenic therapeutic strategy.

Methods: In this study, 3 μm-thick consecutive sections from each formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue block were treated with mouse monoclonal antibodies developed against CD34, CXCR4, CXCR7, and CXCL12.

Results: Two distinct vessel populations: CXCR4+ and CXCR4- vessels, have been found. Similarly, chemokine receptor CXCR7 expression in the entire desmoid tumor series positively stained a portion of tumor-associated vessels, identifying two distinct subpopulations of vessels: CXCR7+ and CXCR7- vessels. All 8 neoplastic tissue samples expressed CXCL12. Immunohistochemical positivity was identified in both stromal and endothelial vascular cells. Compared to CXCR4 and CXCR7, the vast majority of tumor-associated vessels were found to express this chemokine.

Conclusion: It is the first time, as per our knowledge, that CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis expression has been identified in a desmoid type-fibromatosis series. CXCL12 expression by neoplastic cells, together with CXCR4 and CXCR7 expression by a subgroup of tumor-associated vessels, was detected in all desmoid tumor tissue samples examined. Since chemokines are known contributors to neovascularization, CXCR4/CXCR7/CXCL12 axis may play a role in angiogenesis in this soft-tissue tumor histotype, thereby supporting its growth.

Keywords: Desmoid tumors, angiogenesis, chemokines, CXCR4, CXCR7, CXCL12, therapy.

Graphical Abstract
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