Distinct immune microenvironment of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smokers from smokers

Cell Rep Med. 2023 Jun 20;4(6):101078. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101078. Epub 2023 Jun 9.


Lung cancer in never-smokers (LCINS) presents clinicopathological and molecular features distinct from that in smokers. Tumor microenvironment (TME) plays important roles in cancer progression and therapeutic response. To decipher the difference in TME between never-smoker and smoker lung cancers, we conduct single-cell RNA sequencing on 165,753 cells from 22 treatment-naive lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients. We find that the dysfunction of alveolar cells induced by cigarette smoking contributes more to the aggressiveness of smoker LUADs, while the immunosuppressive microenvironment exerts more effects on never-smoker LUADs' aggressiveness. Moreover, the SPP1hi pro macrophage is identified to be another independent source of monocyte-derived macrophage. Importantly, higher expression of immune checkpoint CD47 and lower expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I in cancer cells of never-smoker LUADs imply that CD47 may be a better immunotherapy target for LCINS. Therefore, this study reveals the difference of tumorigenesis between never-smoker and smoker LUADs and provides a potential immunotherapy strategy for LCINS.

Keywords: CD47; adenocarcinoma; lung cancer in never-smokers; single-cell RNA sequencing; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung*
  • CD47 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Smokers
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • CD47 Antigen