Downregulation of PD-L1 via FKBP5 by celecoxib augments antitumor effects of PD-1 blockade in a malignant glioma model

Izumi Yamaguchi, Kohei Nakajima, Kenji Shono, Yoshifumi Mizobuchi, Toshitaka Fujihara, Eiji Shikata, Tadashi Yamaguchi, Keiko Kitazato, Oltea Sampetrean, Hideyuki Saya, Yasushi Takagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Antitumor therapies targeting programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) or its ligand-1 (PD-L1) are used in various cancers. However, in glioblastoma (GBM), the expression of PD-L1 varies between patients, and the relationship between this variation and the efficacy of anti-PD-1 antibody therapy remains unclear. High expression levels of PD-L1 affect the proliferation and invasiveness of GBM cells. As COX-2 modulates PD-L1 expression in cancer cells, we tested the hypothesis that the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib potentiates anti-PD-1 antibody treatment via the downregulation of PD-L1. Methods: Six-week-old male C57BL/6 mice injected with murine glioma stem cells (GSCs) were randomly divided into four groups treated with vehicle, celecoxib, anti-PD-1 antibody, or celecoxib plus anti-PD-1 antibody and the antitumor effects of these treatments were assessed. To verify the mechanisms underlying these effects, murine GSCs and human GBM cells were studied in vitro. Results: Compared with that with each single treatment, the combination of celecoxib and anti-PD-1 antibody treatment significantly decreased tumor volume and prolonged survival. The high expression of PD-L1 was decreased by celecoxib in the glioma model injected with murine GSCs, cultured murine GSCs, and cultured human GBM cells. This reduction was associated with post-Transcriptional regulation of the co-chaperone FK506-binding protein 5 (FKBP5). Conclusions: Combination therapy with anti-PD-1 antibody plus celecoxib might be a promising therapeutic strategy to target PD-L1 in glioblastoma. The downregulation of highly-expressed PD-L1 via FKBP5, induced by celecoxib, could play a role in its antitumor effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbervdz058
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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