Acta Oncol 60 (4) 531-538 [2021-04-00; online 2021-02-12]
Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2, as well as Indoleamine 2,3-deoxygenase (IDO1) can be expressed both by tumor and microenvironmental cells and are crucial for tumor immune escape. We aimed to evaluate the role of PD-1, its ligands and IDO1 in a cohort of patients with primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the CNS (PCNSL). Tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed in 45 PCNSL cases. RNA extraction from whole tissue sections and RNA sequencing were successfully performed in 33 cases. Immunohistochemical stainings for PD-1, PD-L1/paired box protein 5 (PAX-5), PD-L2/PAX-5 and IDO1, and Epstein-Barr virus encoding RNA (EBER) in situ hybridization were analyzed. High proportions of PD-L1 and PD-L2 positive tumor cells were observed in 11% and 9% of cases, respectively. High proportions of PD-L1 and PD-L2 positive leukocytes were observed in 55% and 51% of cases, respectively. RNA sequencing revealed that gene expression of IDO1 was high in patients with high proportion of PD-L1 positive leukocytes (p = .01). Protein expression of IDO1 in leukocytes was detected in 14/45 cases, in 79% of these cases a high proportion of PD-L1 positive leukocytes was observed. Gene expression of IDO1 was high in EBER-positive cases (p = .0009) and protein expression of IDO1 was detected in five of six EBER-positive cases. Our study shows a significant association between gene and protein expression of IDO1 and protein expression of PD-L1 in the tumor microenvironment of PCNSL, possibly of importance for prediction of response to immunotherapies.