Opposing immune-metabolic signature in visceral versus subcutaneous adipose tissue in patients with adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus and the oesophagogastric junction

Type Article

Journal Article


A. B. Heeran; J. McCready; M. R. Dunne; N. E. Donlon; T. S. Nugent; A. Bhardwaj; K. A. J. Mitchelson; A. M. Buckley; N. Ravi; H. M. Roche; J. V. Reynolds; N. Lynam-Lennon; J. O’sullivan

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Oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) is an exemplar model of obesity-associated cancer. Previous work in our group has demonstrated that overweight/obese OAC patients have better responses to neoadjuvant therapy, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Unravelling the immune–metabolic signatures of adipose tissue may provide insight for this observation. We hypothesised that different metabolic pathways predominate in visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and inflammatory secretions will differ between the fat depots. Real-time ex vivo metabolic profiles of VAT and SAT from 12 OAC patients were analysed. These samples were screened for the secretion of 54 inflammatory mediators, and data were correlated with patient body composition. Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) was significantly higher in VAT when compared to SAT. OXPHOS was significantly higher in the SAT of patients receiving neoadjuvant treatment. VEGF-A, VEGF-C, P1GF, Flt-1, bFGF, IL-15, IL-16, IL-17A, CRP, SAA, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, IL-2, IL-13, IFN-γ, and MIP-1β secretions were significantly higher from VAT than SAT. Higher levels of bFGF, Eotaxin-3, and TNF-α were secreted from the VAT of obese patients, while higher levels of IL-23 and TARC were secreted from the SAT of obese patients. The angiogenic factors, bFGF and VEGF-C, correlated with visceral fat area. Levels of OXPHOS are higher in VAT than SAT. Angiogenic, vascular injury and inflammatory cytokines are elevated in VAT versus SAT, indicating that VAT may promote inflammation, linked to regulating treatment response.