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Blood. 2013 Feb 21;121(8):1367-76. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-04-421826. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

High PD-1 expression and suppressed cytokine signaling distinguish T cells infiltrating follicular lymphoma tumors from peripheral T cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Oncology Division, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

Defects in T-cell function in patients with cancer might influence their capacity to mount efficient antitumor immune responses. Here, we identified highly reduced IL-4-, IL-10-, and IL-21-induced phosphorylation of STAT6 and STAT3 in tumor-infiltrating T cells (TILs) in follicular lymphoma (FL) tumors, contrasting other non-Hodgkin lymphoma TILs. By combining phospho-protein-specific flow cytometry with several T-cell markers, we identified that CD4(+)CD45RO(+)CD62L(-) FL TILs were largely nonresponsive to cytokines, in contrast to the corresponding autologous peripheral blood subset. We observed differential expression of the inhibitory receptor PD-1 in FL TILs and peripheral blood T cells. Furthermore, CD4(+)PD-1(hi) FL TILs, containing T(FH) and non-T(FH) cells, had lost their cytokine responsiveness, whereas PD-1 TILs had normal cytokine signaling. However, this phenomenon was not tumor specific, because tonsil T cells were similar to FL TILs. FL tumor cells were negative for PD-1 ligands, but PD-L1(+) histiocytes were found within the T cell-rich zone of the neoplastic follicles. Disruption of the microenvironment and in vitro culture of FL TILs could restore cytokine signaling in the PD-1(hi) subset. Because FL TILs in vivo probably receive suppressive signals through PD-1, this provides a rationale for testing PD-1 Ab in combination with immunotherapy in patients with FL.

PMID:
23297127
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3578953
Free PMC Article

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