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The expression of programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in tumors is associated with tumor cell escape from T-cell cytotoxicity, and is considered a crucial effector in chemoresistance and tumor relapse. Although PD-L1 induction has been observed in patients after chemotherapy treatment, the mechanism by which the drug activates PD-L1 expression remains elusive. Here, we identified the extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a molecular mediator that determines the effect of doxorubicin on PD-L1 expression in osteosarcoma models. Mechanistically, doxorubicin dependently stimulates the release of extracellular vesicles, which mediate autocrine/paracrine signals in osteosarcoma cells. The recipient cells were stimulated by these EVs and acquired the ability to promote the expression of inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6. In response to doxorubicin, IL-1β, but not IL-6, allowed- osteosarcoma cells to promote the expression of PD-L1, and the elimination of IL-1β/IL-1 receptor signaling with IL-1 receptor antagonist reduced PD-L1 expression. Together, these findings provided insights into the role of EV release in response to chemotherapy that mediates PD-L1 expression via the IL-1 signaling pathway, and suggested that the combination of a drug targeting IL-1 or PD-L1 with chemotherapy could be an effective treatment option for osteosarcoma patients.


Su Yati, Atiruj Silathapanasakul, Chakrarin Thakaeng, Mayuree Chanasakulniyom, Napat Songtawee, Sureerut Porntadavity, Peraphan Pothacharoen, Dumnoensun Pruksakorn, Prachya Kongtawelert, Pa-Thai Yenchitsomanus, Theerawut Chanmee. Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated IL-1 Signaling in Response to Doxorubicin Activates PD-L1 Expression in Osteosarcoma Models. Cells. 2022 Mar 18;11(6)

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PMID: 35326493

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