Abstract

Bilateral vestibular schwannoma is the hallmark of NF2-related schwannomatosis, a rare tumour predisposition syndrome associated with a lifetime of surgical interventions, radiotherapy and off-label use of the anti-angiogenic drug bevacizumab. Unilateral vestibular schwannoma develops sporadically in non- NF2-related schwannomatosis patients for which there are no drug treatment options available. Tumour-infiltrating immune cells such as macrophages and T-cells correlate with increased vestibular schwannoma growth, which is suggested to be similar in sporadic and NF2-related schwannomatosis tumours. However, differences between NF2-related schwannomatosis and the more common sporadic disease include NF2-related schwannomatosis patients presenting an increased number of tumours, multiple tumour types and younger age at diagnosis. A comparison of the tumour microenvironment in sporadic and NF2-related schwannomatosis tumours is therefore required to underpin the development of immunotherapeutic targets, identify the possibility of extrapolating ex vivo data from sporadic vestibular schwannoma to NF2-related schwannomatosis and help inform clinical trial design with the feasibility of co-recruiting sporadic and NF2-related schwannomatosis patients. This study drew together bulk transcriptomic data from three published Affymetrix microarray datasets to compare the gene expression profiles of sporadic and NF2-related schwannomatosis vestibular schwannoma and subsequently deconvolved to predict the abundances of distinct tumour immune microenvironment populations. Data were validated using quantitative PCR and Hyperion imaging mass cytometry. Comparative bioinformatic analyses revealed close similarities in NF2-related schwannomatosis and sporadic vestibular schwannoma tumours across the three datasets. Significant inflammatory markers and signalling pathways were closely matched in NF2-related schwannomatosis and sporadic vestibular schwannoma, relating to the proliferation of macrophages, angiogenesis and inflammation. Bulk transcriptomic and imaging mass cytometry data identified macrophages as the most abundant immune population in vestibular schwannoma, comprising one-third of the cell mass in both NF2-related schwannomatosis and sporadic tumours. Importantly, there were no robust significant differences in signalling pathways, gene expression, cell type abundance or imaging mass cytometry staining between NF2-related schwannomatosis and sporadic vestibular schwannoma. These data indicate strong similarities in the tumour immune microenvironment of NF2-related schwannomatosis and sporadic vestibular schwannoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcad197
JournalBrain Communications
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • NF2
  • NF2-related schwannomatosis
  • tumour microenvironment
  • tumour-associated macrophages
  • vestibular schwannoma

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