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Associations Between Infiltrating Lymphocyte Subsets and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • Guo, Cun-Li (The Third Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Yang, Hai-Chao (The First Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Yang, Xiu-Hua (The First Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Cheng, Wen (The Third Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Dong, Tian-Xiu (The First Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Zhu, Wen-Jing (The First Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Xu, Zheng (The Third Hospital of Harbin Medical University) ;
  • Zhao, Liang (The Third Hospital of Harbin Medical University)
  • Published : 2012.11.30

Abstract

Aims: We aimed to analyze the phenotype of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and non-tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (NILs) in HCC and non-tumor tissues, and evaluate relationships between changes in these cells and the prognosis of HCC. Methods: Lymphocytes were isolated from HCC and corresponding non-tumor tissues and tested by flow cytometry. For comparison, clinical parameters were analyzed. Results: Compared with the non-tumor tissue, tumor tissue had a lower intensity of NK, NKT andCD8+T cell infiltration. TILs had higher intensity of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+regulatory T cell (Treg cells) infiltration compared with that in NILs. The prevalence of Treg cells was associated with fewer CD8 + T lymphocytes in the HCC immune microenvironment. The frequencies of NK cells and CD8+T cells in TILs of HCC patients with metastasis less than 12 months were lower than those without metastasis. However, the frequency of Treg cells was higher than those without metastasis. Conclusion: These results suggest that the frequencies of CD8+T, NK and NKT cells as well as Treg cells in the tumor tissue of HCC are significantly associated with patient survival, and could be applied as predictive indicators for HCC prognosis.

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