Predictive potential of macrophage population phenotyping in malignization of H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis
Tumor-associated macrophages are able to regulate the tumor cell proliferation and to affect the tumor cell dissemination. The study was aimed to assess the predictive potential of the macrophage population immunohistochemical phenotyping in early malignization of H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis. Gastic biopsy samples of male and female patients aged 48 ± 7.2 infected with Helicobacter pylori were used as the research material. The patients were divided into three groups: non-atrophic chronic gastritis (NACG, n = 10), atrophic chronic gastritis (ACG, n = 10), G1/G2 gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC, n = 10). The macrophage population was visualized using the CD68 pan-macrophage marker and the type 2 monocyte/macrophage marker CD163. Intensity of neoangiogenesis was defined using the CD31 endothelial marker by assessing the total cross sectional area of blood vessels. It was found that chronic gastritis was accompanied by the dynamic increase in the size of the general macrophage population with the progression of atrophic and metaplastic processes. According to immunohistochemical study of biopsies obtained from patients with NCG, the CD163 : CD68 ratio was 0.67 ± 0.02, and the total cross sectional area of blood vessels was 3590.92 ± 356.27 µm2. Atrophic gastritis and adenocarcinoma were characterized by vector redistribution of monocytes/macrophages into the 2nd functional phenotype. The CD163 : CD68 expression index in the group with ACG was 0.81 ± 0.04, and in the group with GAC it was 0.88 ± 0.03. Microvascular area was significantly increased in the groups with ACG and GAC, which reflected tumor neoangiogenesis intensification under the influence of М2 monocytes/macrophages. The increased expression of CD163 can serve as a predictor of chronic gastritis malignization together with evaluation of the glandular epithelium atrophy and metaplasia degree.