CXCL5 contributes to tumor metastasis and recurrence of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma by recruiting infiltrative intratumoral neutrophils

Carcinogenesis. 2014 Mar;35(3):597-605. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt397. Epub 2013 Nov 30.


CXCL5 is a member of the CXC-type chemokine family that may play a role in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. This study investigates the biological function and clinical significance of CXCL5 in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). We demonstrated that CXCL5 was overexpressed in ICC cell lines and tumor samples compared with paired normal tissues. CXCL5 had a direct chemoattractant effect on neutrophils in vitro through PI3K-Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 signaling pathways. In animal studies, CXCL5 promoted tumor growth and metastasis without altering in vitro proliferative and invasive ability of ICC cells, and this effect was mediated by the recruitment of intratumoral infiltrative neutrophils by tumor-derived CXCL5. Immunohistochemical analysis of ICC samples showed that overexpression of CXCL5 correlated strongly with intratumoral neutrophil infiltration, shorter overall survival and high tumor recurrence. Multivariate analysis revealed that CXCL5 overexpression alone, or combined with the presence of intratumoral neutrophils, was an independent prognostic indicator for ICC. In conclusion, our data showed that CXCL5 promotes ICC growth and metastasis by recruiting intratumoral neutrophils. CXCL5 alone or combined with intratumoral neutrophils is a novel prognostic predictor for ICC patients and a potential therapeutic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemokine CXCL5 / physiology*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / pathology
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • CXCL5 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL5