Expression of the Chemokine Receptors CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR7 and Their Ligands in Rhabdomyosarcoma

Pathol Oncol Res. 2015 Sep;21(4):1191-9. doi: 10.1007/s12253-015-9947-2. Epub 2015 Jun 3.


Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS) are soft tissue malignant tumors of childhood and adolescents. The mechanisms underlying their aggressiveness are still poorly understood. Chemokines are chemotactic proteins involved in pathological processes that have been intensely studied in several types of cancers because of their influence in migration, angiogenesis, or metastases. We analyzed the expression of the chemokine receptors CXCR3, CXCR4 and CXCR7 and their ligands CXCL9, CXCL10, CXCL11 and CXCL12, in 15 RMS samples derived from nine patients. Expression was measured in tumors and primary cultures of RMS by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, immunostaining and flow cytometry. Our results show that these receptors are widely expressed in RMS. A significant difference between CXCL12/CXCR4, CXCL12/CXCR7, CXCL11/CXCR7 expression ratios was found in alveolar versus embryonal RMS and similarly between CXCL12/CXCR4 and CXCL11/CXCR3 ratios in primary versus recurrent tumors. These findings suggest a possible association between the interrelation of chemokine/chemokine-receptor and an aggressive biological behavior in RMS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Receptors, CXCR / genetics*
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / genetics*
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / genetics*


  • ACKR3 protein, human
  • CXCR3 protein, human
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Receptors, CXCR
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, CXCR4