Investigation of pd-l1 (cd274), pd-l2 (pdcd1lg2), and ctla-4 expressions in malignant pleural mesothelioma by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction methods

Polish Journal of Pathology 2022 October 6 [Link]

Fatma Sule Kutlar Dursun, Ulas Alabalik


Introduction: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignant disease with a poor prognosis, which affects the surface mesothelium of the pleural cavity. Immune checkpoints are responsible for controlling the immune system to avoid autoimmunity and prevent tissue damage. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression of cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), and programmed death ligand 2 (PD-L2) immuno-control receptors in MPM patients and the relationship of the expression with tumour types and prognostic parameters.

Material and methods: In this study, we evaluated 50 MPM cases. Immunohistochemically CTLA-4, PD-L1, and PD-L2 were detected by using monoclonal anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-L1, and anti-PD-L2. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis was performed with the primers CTLA-4, PD-L1, and PD-L2.

Results: Statistically, no significant relation was determined between the PD-L1, PD-L2, and CTLA-4 expressions (immunohistochemical and RT-PCR methods) and the MPM histological type. Interestingly significant correlation was observed between the mean survival time and immunohistochemical PD-L2 expression; thus, long-term survival was observed in cases with PD-L2 expression.

Conclusions: Programmed death ligand 1, PD-L2, and CTLA-4 expression were observed in some MPM cases, suggesting that treatments targeting immune checkpoints may be effective. Because immunohistochemical expression of PD-L2 is associated with better prognosis, it may provide useful clues in the follow-up of patients.