The Enhanced Inhibitory Effect of Estrogen on PD-L1 Expression Following Nrf2 Deficiency in the AOM/DSS Model of Colitis-Associated Cancer

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Kang, Changhee; Song, Chin-Hee; Kim, Nayoung; Nam, Ryoung Hee; Choi, Soo In; Yu, Jeong Eun; Nho, Heewon; Choi, Jin A.; Kim, Jin Won; Na, Hee Young; Lee, Ha-Na; Surh, Young-Joon

Issue Date
Frontiers Media S.A.
Frontiers in Oncology, Vol.11
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a dual role in carcinogenesis. We previously reported that Nrf2 deficiency enhances the anti-tumorigenic effect of 17 beta-estradiol (E2) in an azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) model of colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Herein, we aimed to determine a possible explanation for our recent work and investigated the immune microenvironment represented by programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression. One week after the AOM injection, mice were administered with DSS in drinking water for seven days; daily E2 injections were intraperitoneally administered during this period. The mice were sacrificed 16 weeks after AOM injection and analyzed for PD-L1 expression in the distal colon tissues using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Based on Western blotting results, PD-L1 expression was reduced in Nrf2 knockout (KO) female and E2-treated male mice when compared with their wild-type counterparts, following AOM/DSS treatment; this supports the association of PD-L1 expression with tumor progression. Additionally, this finding was in good agreement with the IHC results for PD-L1. Furthermore, we observed that PD-L1 is predominantly expressed in stromal cells rather than on epithelial cells in the colon. Western blotting revealed that PD-L1 expression in the colon positively correlates with expressions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) (male, P = 0.002; female, P <0.001) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (male, P <0.001; female, P <0.001). Collectively, our findings indicate that estrogen ameliorates the immune microenvironment represented by PD-L1 expression and enhances its effect in the absence of Nrf2.
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Biomedical Engineering (의공학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_의공학전공)
College of Pharmacy (약학대학)Dept. of Pharmacy (약학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_약학과)
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