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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Nov;83(2):235-43.

Cytokine profile of cervical cancer cells.

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Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.



In patients with cervical carcinoma, the presence of cytokines produced by T(H)2 cells, and the presence of an eosinophilic inflammatory infiltrate, has been associated with a less effective immune response and tumor progression. In the present study, we have investigated the cytokine profile of cervical carcinoma cells. In addition, we have measured whether differences in cytokine profiles between normal and malignant cervical epithelial cells are present.


For this purpose we have determined the mRNA expression patterns of 20 relevant cytokines by RT-PCR and Southern blotting in 3 normal primary cervical epithelial cell cultures (NPE) and 10 cervical cancer cell lines (CCCL).


TGF-beta(1), IL-4, IL-12p35, and IL-15 were produced by all CCCL and NPE. TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-5, and RANTES were present in most NPE, but not in any of the CCCL. MCP-1 was expressed in all CCCL but in only one NPE. The presence of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-beta(1) in cervical carcinomas was confirmed by RNA in situ hybridization on tissue sections of carcinomas from which the CCCL originated.


Our results suggest that cervical carcinoma cells produce immunomodulatory cytokines and that cytokine expression patterns change after malignant transformation. The implications of locally produced cytokines by cervical cancer cells are further discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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