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Senescence, immune microenvironment, and vascularization in cardiac myxomas
Cardiovascular Pathology  (IF2.185),  Pub Date : 2021-03-21, DOI: 10.1016/j.carpath.2021.107335
Georgia Karpathiou, Jean Marc Dumollard, Florian Camy, Viviana Sramek, Maroa Dridi, Tiphanie Picot, Mousa Mobarki, Michel Peoc'h


Cardiac myxomas are rare tumors of incompletely elucidated pathogenesis. The aim of this study is to explore the possible presence of a senescence phenotype in cardiac myxomas, associated with an inflammatory and vasculogenic tumor microenvironment.

Methods and results

This is a retrospective study of 29 cardiac myxomas with immunohistochemical detection of various inflammatory, vascular, and senescence markers. We show that all myxomas contain tumor cells in senescence overexpressing p16, and a fraction of senescent endothelial cells. Macrophages are the principal inflammatory cell population, followed by cytotoxic T cells, with fewer plasma cells, mastocytes, and B lymphocytes. These populations are found in different intratumoral localizations. Larger tumor volume is associated with a lower percentage of myxoid matrix, higher cellularity, higher macrophage, and lower number of mast cells as well as higher PD-L1 expression by inflammatory cells. Higher vascular density is associated with higher percentage of B cells, a lower number of macrophages and higher number of mastocytes, and lower PD-L1 expression by inflammatory cells. Tumors with higher vascular density and higher cellularity show higher amounts of p16 senescent endothelial cells.


Myxoma tumor cells are in senescence and reside inside a tumor microenvironment with a distinct inflammatory profile rich in macrophages and cytotoxic T cells, and a rich vasculature, probably attributed to a senescence-associated secretory phenotype.