NFATc1 is Suppressed in Tumor Microenvironment of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2021 Jun 1;22(6):1943-1948. doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.6.1943.


Objective: The aims of this research are to evaluate the expression and distribution of NFATc1 in tumor microenvironment of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Methods: Twenty-eight cases of Hodgkin lymphoma were selected. Clinicopathological data of age, gender, location and subtypes were obtained. Immunohistochemistry was performed to the all cases by using anti-CD163, anti-NFATc1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies. All protein expression was calculated by using Image J software.

Results: Nuclear expression of NFATc1 was not observed in Hodgkin cells neither in TAM nor in small lymphocytes surrounding Hodgkin cells in all the samples, this meant that NFATc1 showed negative nuclear expression in almost all these cells. Cytoplasmic expression of NFATc1 was observed in small lymphocytes surrounding tumor cells. While there were only few small lymphocytes which were located far from tumor cells showed nuclear expression of NFATc1. Meanwhile, 57.14% samples showed high density of TAMs CD163+, and 50% tumor cells as well as 50% TAMs exhibited positive PD-L1 expression. In addition, all macrophages did not have NFATc1 expression both in their nuclei and in their cytoplasm.

Conclusion: NFATc1 was suppressed both in Hodgkin cells and inflammatory cells surrounding the tumor cells. This condition may contribute to progressivity and aggressiveness of the diseases. Therefore, certain mechanisms to reactivate functional NFATc1 in HL tumor microenvironment may be necessary; hence, the tumor cells are able to be eradicated by patient's immune mechanisms.

Keywords: CD163; Hodgkin lymphoma; NFATc1; PD-L1; Tumor Microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / metabolism
  • B7-H1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • NFATC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD163 antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • NFATC1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Cell Surface