Inhibition of autophagy in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by vaginal fluid from women with a malignant adnexal mass Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Autophagy
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear


  • Inhibition of autophagy is a characteristic of ovarian cancer. We determined whether inhibition of autophagy by vaginal fluid could provide a non-invasive test for cancer risk stratification in women presenting with an adnexal mass. Vaginal fluid supernatants from 90 women undergoing evaluation for a suspicious adnexal mass were incubated with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from healthy women under conditions that induce autophagy. Rapamycin, an autophagy inducer, was added to some cultures. After 48 hr the cells were collected, lysed and assayed by ELISA for intracellular p62 concentration. p62 is a cytoplasmic protein that is consumed during autophagy induction. Its concentration is inversely proportional to the extent of autophagy induction. Clinical information including pathological diagnoses was obtained after completion of laboratory studies. Mean p62 levels were 9.4 ng/ml in the 21 women with a subsequent malignant diagnosis, 4.5 ng/ml in the eight women with a borderline tumor diagnosis and 3.6 ng/ml in the 61 women with benign disease (pā€‰<ā€‰0.0001, malignant vs. others). When rapamycin was added to the vaginal fluid-PBMC co-incubation, p62 levels in samples from women with a malignant diagnosis decreased to 3.3 ng/ml, a level comparable to what was observed with the nonmalignant samples. Vaginal fluid inhibition of autophagy can differentiate between women with malignant and benign adnexal masses.

publication date

  • December 15, 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ijc.29665

PubMed ID

  • 26132572

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2879

end page

  • 84


  • 137


  • 12