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J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Jun;175(1-2):59-68. Epub 2006 May 2.

T-cell apoptosis in human glioblastoma multiforme: implications for immunotherapy.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, c/- Post Office RBH, Herston, Q4029 Australia.


We used immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry to assess apoptosis in human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Our immunohistochemical study revealed apoptosis of glioma cells expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein and of CD3(+) T cells infiltrating GBM. To quantify and phenotype the apoptotic T cells, we performed flow cytometry on lymphocytes separated from GBM. The cells were stained with annexin-V-FLUOS/propidium iodide to identify apoptosis. We found that high proportions of both the CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were apoptotic. In particular, we found that T cells expressing Fas ligand (Fas-L, CD95L) were eight times more vulnerable to apoptosis than those not expressing Fas-L, which suggests that the T-cell apoptosis is induced by overactivation of the T-cell receptor, possibly in the absence of appropriate costimulation. Our results have implications for the design of immunotherapies for GBM.

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