Prognostic impact of LILRB4 expression on tumor-infiltrating cells in resected non-small cell lung cancer

Sakiko Kumata, Hirotsugu Notsuda*, Mei Tzu Su, Ryoko Saito-Koyama, Ryota Tanaka, Yuyo Suzuki, Junichi Funahashi, Shota Endo, Isao Yokota, Toshiyuki Takai, Yoshinori Okada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor subfamily B member 4 (LILRB4/ILT3) is an up-and-coming molecule that promotes immune evasion. We have previously reported that LILRB4 facilitates myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs)-mediated tumor metastasis in mice. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the LILRB4 expression levels on tumor-infiltrating cells on the prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Methods: We immunohistochemically evaluated the LILRB4 expression levels of completely resected 239 NSCLC specimens. Whether the blocking of LILRB4 on human PBMC-derived CD33+ MDSCs inhibited the migration ability of lung cancer cells was also examined using transwell migration assay. Results: The LILRB4 high group, in which patients with a high LILRB4 expression level on tumor-infiltrating cells, showed a shorter overall survival (OS) (p = 0.013) and relapse-free survival (RFS) (p = 0.0017) compared to the LILRB4 low group. Multivariate analyses revealed that a high LILRB4 expression was an independent factor for postoperative recurrence, poor OS and RFS. Even in the cohort background aligned by propensity score matching, OS (p = 0.023) and RFS (p = 0.0046) in the LILRB4 high group were shorter than in the LILRB4 low group. Some of the LILRB4 positive cells were positive for MDSC markers, CD33 and CD14. Transwell migration assay demonstrated that blocking LILRB4 significantly inhibited the migration of human lung cancer cells cocultured with CD33+ MDSCs. Conclusion: Together, signals through LILRB4 on tumor-infiltrating cells, including MDSCs, play an essential role in promoting tumor evasion and cancer progression, impacting the recurrence and poor prognosis of patients with resected NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2068
Number of pages12
JournalThoracic Cancer
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • ILT3
  • LILRB4
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • non-small cell lung carcinoma
  • translational research


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