Functional tumor infiltrating TH1 and TH2 effectors in large early-stage cervical cancer are suppressed by regulatory T cells.

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TitleFunctional tumor infiltrating TH1 and TH2 effectors in large early-stage cervical cancer are suppressed by regulatory T cells.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAdurthi S, Mukherjee G, Krishnamurthy H, Sudhir K, Bafna UD, Umadevi K, Jayshree RSubramanya
JournalInt J Gynecol Cancer
Date Published2012 Sep
KeywordsCarcinoma, Squamous Cell, Cytokines, Female, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immune Tolerance, Interferon-gamma, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating, Neoplasm Staging, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Th1 Cells, Th2 Cells, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms

OBJECTIVE: Analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is one of the cornerstones for the understanding of immune responses prevailing in the tumor microenvironment. We studied TILs from squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix ex vivo without proliferating them in vitro before analysis.

METHODS: Whereas TILs were magnetic activated cell separation enriched and flow sorted into CD4 CD25 (regulatory T cells [Tregs]), CD4 CD25 (effector T cells [Teffs]) were directly purified by flow cytometry, and both these subsets were characterized phenotypically and functionally. Tissue sections were probed for interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon γ.

RESULTS: Effector T cells constitutively expressed both interferon γ and IL-4 prototypical cytokines of TH1 and TH2, respectively, and were able to proliferate and secrete higher quantities of both cytokines in response to anti-CD3/anti-CD28 and autologous tumor lysates. Only 53% of cervical cancer Tregs were FOXP3, elaborated transforming growth factor β1, and IL-10 and were able to inhibit both T helper subsets.

CONCLUSIONS: Intratumoral Teffs represented functionally active subsets of both TH1 and TH2 that were not anergic but were suppressed by multiple Treg subsets, which comprised FOXP3 + Tregs and Tregs secreting transforming growth factor β1 and IL-10. These results imply that the microenvironment of cervical carcinomas harbored both TH1 and TH2 subsets of CD4 Teffs that were functionally active but were perhaps unable to perform because of the overpowering effect of Tregs.

Alternate JournalInt. J. Gynecol. Cancer
PubMed ID22872166