Topological analysis of hepatocellular carcinoma tumour microenvironment based on imaging mass cytometry reveals cellular neighbourhood regulated reversely by macrophages with different ontogeny.
IF: 31.793
Cited by: 37


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumour microenvironment (TME) is highly complex with diverse cellular components organising into various functional units, cellular neighbourhoods (CNs). And we wanted to define CN of HCC while preserving the TME architecture, based on which, potential targets for novel immunotherapy could be identified. A highly multiplexed imaging mass cytometry (IMC) panel was designed to simultaneously quantify 36 biomarkers of tissues from 134 patients with HCC and 7 healthy donors to generate 562 highly multiplexed histology images at single-cell resolution. Different function units were defined by topological analysis of TME. CN relevant to the patients' prognosis was identified as specific target for HCC therapy. Transgenic mouse models were used to validate the novel immunotherapy target for HCC. Three major types of intratumour areas with distinct distribution patterns of tumorous, stromal and immune cells were identified. 22 cellular metaclusters and 16 CN were defined. CN composed of various types of cells formed regional function units and the regional immunity was regulated reversely by resident Kupffer cells and infiltrating macrophages with protumour and antitumour function, respectively. Depletion of Kupffer cells in mouse liver largely enhances the T cell response, reduces liver tumour growth and sensitises the tumour response to antiprogrammed cell death protein-1 treatment. Our findings reveal for the first time the various topological function units of HCC TME, which also presents the largest depository of pathological landscape for HCC. This work highlights the potential of Kupffer cell-specific targeting rather than overall myeloid cell blocking as a novel immunotherapy for HCC treatment.


hepatocellular carcinoma


Sheng, Jianpeng
Zhang, Junlei
Wang, Lin
Tano, Vincent
Tang, Jianghui
Wang, Xun
Wu, Jiangchao
Song, Jinyuan
Zhao, Yaxing
Rong, Jingxia
Cheng, Fei
Wang, Jianfeng
Shen, Yinan
Wen, Liang
He, Junjun
Zhang, Hui
Li, Taohong
Zhang, Qi
Bai, Xueli
Lu, Zhimin
Liang, Tingbo

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