Expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, glucose transporter 1, and hexokinase 2 in primary central nervous system lymphoma and the correlation with the biological behaviors


Shen N, et al. Brain Behav 2020.


BACKGROUND: It has been indicated that abnormal glucose metabolism mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) played an essential role in the development of solid tumor. However, there were rare studies about the role of them in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the protein levels of HIF-1α, glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), and hexokinase 2 (HK2) in PCNSL and whether their levels are associated with prognostic factors.

METHODS: Expression of HIF-1α, GLUT1, and HK2 in 39 tumor tissues was evaluated by immunohistochemical stainning. The correlation of the expression of HIF-1α with the protein level of GLUT1 and HK2 was investigated. In addition, the association between these protein expression levels and clinical parameters and prognosis was analyzed.

RESULTS: In the tumor specimens of PCNSL, positive stainings of HIF-1α, GLUT1, and HK2 were in 23 patients (58.97%), 25 patients (64.1%), and 26 patients (66.67%), respectively, which were associated with the expression level of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), but not with age, gender, number of lesion, ECOG score, or deep structure. The expression of HIF-1α was positively correlated with the expression of GLUT1 (p < .01, r = .749) and HK2 (p < .01, r = .787). Univariate analysis showed that upregulated GLUT1 was unfavorable predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) in PCNSL. The results of Cox proportional hazards model showed GLUT1 was significantly associated with shorter PFS (hazard ration: 5.65; 95% confidence interval: 1.23-25.84; p = .026).

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that there was a hypoxic microenvironment and HIF-1α was involved in the regulation of glycolysis pathway in PCNSL. GLUT1 might be a potential marker for shorter PFS in PCNSL.