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Cell Mol Immunol. 2010 Sep;7(5):389-95. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2010.28. Epub 2010 May 31.

Programmed death-1 upregulation is correlated with dysfunction of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T lymphocytes in human non-small cell lung cancer.

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Department of Laboratory Diagnosis, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.


T-cell tolerance is an important mechanism for tumor escape, but the molecular pathways involved in T-cell tolerance remain poorly understood. It remains unknown whether the inhibitory immunoreceptor programmed death-1 (PD-1) plays a role in conditions of human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we detected PD-1 expression on CD8+ T cells from healthy control peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and the PBMCs of NSCLC patients as well as NSCLC tissues. Results showed that tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells had increased PD-1 expression and impaired immune function, including reducing cytokine production capability and impairing capacity to proliferate. Blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway by the PD-L1-specific antibody partially restored cytokine production and cell proliferation. These data provide direct evidence that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway is involved in CD8+ T-cell dysfunction in NSCLC patients. Moreover, blocking this pathway provides a potential therapy target in lung cancer.

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