The role of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNA) in small extracellular vesicles (sEV) derived from pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNEN) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains unexplored. We used multiplex IHC to analyze the expression of CD68, CD276 (B7H3), and CD3 on PNEN. CD276+ tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) were more abundant in tumor tissues than nontumor tissues and negatively correlated with T-cell infiltration. Serum sEV piRNA sequencing was performed to identify piRNAs enriched in patients with PNEN. We then investigated the function and mechanism of sEV piR-hsa-30937 in the cross-talk between tumor cells and macrophages in the PNEN TME. PNEN-derived sEV piR-hsa-30937 targeted PTEN to activate the AKT pathway and drive CD276 expression. CD276+ macrophages inhibited T-cell proliferation and IFNγ production. piR-hsa-30937 knockdown and anti-CD276 treatment suppressed progression and metastasis in a preclinical model of PNEN by enhancing T-cell immunity. Thus, our data show that PNEN-derived sEV piR-hsa-30937 promotes CD276 expression in macrophages through the PTEN/AKT pathway and that CD276+ TAMs suppress T-cell antitumor immunity. sEV piR-hsa-30937 and CD276 are potential therapeutic targets for immunotherapy of PNEN.

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