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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 7465741, 6 pages
Research Article

Soluble HLA-G and HLA-E Levels in Bone Marrow Plasma Samples Are Related to Disease Stage in Neuroblastoma Patients

1Laboratorio di Oncologia, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Via Gaslini 5, 16147 Genoa, Italy
2Centro Cellule Staminali, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
3UOC Oncologia, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Via Gaslini 5, 16147 Genoa, Italy

Received 20 May 2016; Revised 4 July 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Ban-Hock Toh

Copyright © 2016 Fabio Morandi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of nonclassical HLA-class Ib molecules HLA-G and HLA-E in the progression of Neuroblastoma (NB), the most common pediatric extracranial solid tumor, has been characterized in the last years. Since BM infiltration by NB cells is an adverse prognostic factor, we have here analyzed for the first time the concentration of soluble (s)HLA-G and HLA-E in bone marrow (BM) plasma samples from NB patients at diagnosis and healthy donors. sHLA-G and sHLA-E are present in BM plasma samples, and their levels were similar between NB patients and controls, thus suggesting that these molecules are physiologically released by resident or stromal BM cell populations. This hypothesis was supported by the finding that sHLA-G and sHLA-E levels did not correlate with BM infiltration and other adverse prognostic factors (MYCN amplification and age at diagnosis). In contrast, BM plasma levels of both molecules were higher in patients with metastatic disease than in patients with localized NB, thus suggesting that concentration of these molecules might be correlated with disease progression. The prognostic role of sHLA-G and sHLA-E concentration in the BM plasma for NB patients will be evaluated in future studies, by analyzing the clinical outcome of the same NB patients at follow-up.