The expression analysis of SerpinB9 in hepatoblastoma microenvironment

Pediatr Surg Int. 2024 Feb 12;40(1):55. doi: 10.1007/s00383-024-05647-7.


Purpose: In this research, we analyzed the expression of serpinB9 in hepatoblastoma and investigated the factors which enhance its expression.

Method: SerpinB9 expression in hepatoblastoma cell lines and macrophages co-cultured with each other or stimulated by anticancer agents was examined using RT-qPCR and western blotting. Immunohistochemistry for SerpinB9 in hepatoblastoma specimens was performed. Single-cell RNA-sequence data for hepatoblastoma from an online database were analyzed to investigate which types of cells express SerpinB9.

Result: HepG2, a hepatoblastoma cell line, exhibited increased expression of SerpinB9 when indirectly co-cultured with macrophages. Immunohistochemistry for the specimens demonstrated that serpinB9 is positive not in hepatoblastoma cells but in macrophages. Single-cell RNA sequence analysis in tissues from hepatoblastoma patients showed that macrophages expressed SerpinB9 more than tumor cells did. Co-culture of macrophages with hepatoblastoma cell lines led to the enhanced expression of SerpinB9 in both macrophages and cell lines. Anticancer agents induced an elevation of SerpinB9 in hepatoblastomas cell lines.

Conclusion: In hepatoblastoma, SerpinB9 is thought to be more highly expressed in macrophages and enhanced by interaction with hepatoblastoma cell.

Keywords: Hepatoblastoma; Immune evasion; Macrophage; SerpinB9.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents*
  • Cell Line
  • Hepatoblastoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • SERPINB9 protein, human