Blockade of exosome generation by GW4869 inhibits the education of M2 macrophages in prostate cancer

BMC Immunol. 2022 Aug 8;23(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s12865-022-00514-3.


Background: Tumor-associated macrophages are considered to be a major contributor affecting the development of tumors. Recently, numerous studies have shown that tumor cells were able to educate their microenvironment by delivering a significant amount of exosomes, however, the mechanism that exosomes from PCa cells work in macrophage polarization remains obscure. Therefore, we sought to determine whether blockade of exosome generation by GW4869, an inhibitor of exosome biogenesis, would impede macrophages from differentiating into M2 cells.

Results: In this study, we first obtained exosomes from the supernatant media of PCa cells cultured with exosome-free serum using the Magcapture™ Exosome Isolation Kit PS, and then investigated their effects on macrophages. Our data confirmed that exosomes released by prostate cancer cells can induce macrophages to differentiate into M2 cells. Mechanistically speaking, exosomes exert their effects on macrophages through activating the AKT and STAT3 signaling pathways. Importantly, treatment with GW4869 significantly inhibited the release of exosomes from PCa cells, and further impaired M2 differentiation of macrophages and their pro-tumor activity. We also demonstrated that GW4869 was able to inhibit the education of M2 macrophages, and then inhibit the progression of prostate cancer in vivo.

Conclusions: In brief, our findings indicated that GW4869 impeded the PCa exosome-induced M2 differentiation of macrophages and the progression of prostate cancer, suggesting that GW4869 could play an important role in the treatment of prostate cancer metastasis as an inhibitor of tumor exosome secretion.

Keywords: Exosome; GW4869; Macrophage polarization; Prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzylidene Compounds / metabolism
  • Benzylidene Compounds / pharmacology
  • Exosomes*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzylidene Compounds
  • GW 4869