Vagus nerve signal has an inhibitory influence on the development of peritoneal metastasis in murine gastric cancer

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 3;14(1):7832. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-58440-w.


The vagus nerve is the only pathway for transmitting parasympathetic signals between the brain and thoracoabdominal organs, thereby exhibiting anti-inflammatory functions through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Despite often being resected during lymph node dissection in upper gastrointestinal cancer surgery, the impact of vagotomy on postoperative outcomes in gastric cancer patients remains unclear. Sub-diaphragmatic vagotomy was performed on C57BL/6 mice. Three weeks later, syngeneic murine gastric cancer cell line YTN16P was injected into the peritoneal cavity, and the number of peritoneal metastases (PM) on the mesentery and omentum compared with control mice. The phenotypes of immune cells in peritoneal lavage and omental milky spots one day after tumor inoculation were analyzed using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Intraperitoneal transfer of 3 × 105 YTN16P significantly increased the number of metastatic nodules on the mesentery in the vagotomy group compared to the control group. The omental metastasis grade was also significantly higher in the vagotomy group. Phenotypic analysis of immune cells in peritoneal lavage did not reveal significant differences after vagotomy. However, vagotomized mice exhibited a notable increase in milky spot area, with a higher presence of cytokeratin(+) tumor cells, F4/80(+) macrophages, and CD3(+) T cells. Vagus nerve signaling appears to regulate the immune response dynamics within milky spots against disseminated tumor cells and inhibits the development of PM. Preserving the vagus nerve may offer advantages in advanced gastric cancer surgery to reduce peritoneal recurrence.

PMID:38570542 | PMC:PMC10991300 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-58440-w