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Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15;66(20):10145-52.

Attenuation of CD8(+) T-cell function by CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells in B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The underlying mechanisms by which tumor cells are resistant to CTL-mediated apoptosis are not clear. Using a human model of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-cell NHL), we show that intratumoral T(reg) cells inhibit the proliferation and granule production of activated autologous infiltrating CD8(+) T cells. Our results also show that degranulation and subsequent cytotoxic activity of infiltrating CD8(+) T cells exposed to lymphoma B cells is completely attenuated by the presence of intratumoral T(reg) cells. Furthermore, we show that increased numbers of intratumoral T(reg) cells correlates with the number of CD8(+) T cells in biopsy specimens from patients with B-cell NHL, supporting the in vitro findings that intratumoral T(reg) cells inhibit proliferation of infiltrating CD8(+) T cells. Taken together, these data indicate that human lymphoma B cells are sensitive to autologous CTL-mediated cell death but are protected by the inhibitory function of intratumoral T(reg) cells.

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