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Oncol Lett. 2018 Jul;16(1):253-261. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.8612. Epub 2018 May 2.

Accumulation of T-helper 22 cells, interleukin-22 and myeloid-derived suppressor cells promotes gastric cancer progression in elderly patients.

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Department of Geratology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning 116000, P.R. China.


Chronic inflammation and immunosuppression lead to aging and tumorigenesis. T-helper 22 (Th22) cells, interleukin 22 (IL-22) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) serve an important role in inflammatory-immune diseases and cancer. However, the status of Th22 cells, IL-22 and MDSCs in aging and elderly gastric cancer progression is unknown. In the present study, 39 elderly patients with gastric cancer (EGC), 32 elderly healthy controls (HE) and 31 young healthy controls (HY) were enrolled, and the peripheral Th22, Th17 and Th1 cells, and MDSCs, were examined using flow cytometry. Plasma levels of IL-22, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were examined using ELISA. IL-22 protein levels in tumor tissues were examined using immunohistochemistry. There were increased numbers of peripheral Th22 and Th17 cells, and MDSCs, as well as increased plasma levels of IL-22, IL-6 and TNF-α in EGC compared with HE and HY. However, HE exhibited significantly increased levels of peripheral Th22 and Th17 cells as well as IL-6 and TNF-α compared with HY. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that IL-22 protein accumulated in tumor cells and lymphocytes in the tumor microenvironment. The results obtained demonstrated that peripheral Th22 and Th17 cells as well as IL-6 and TNF-α plasma levels increased with aging. Furthermore, Th22 and Th17 cells, MDSCs, and IL-22 may be used as prognostic markers for identifying gastric cancer in elderly patients.


T-helper 22 cells; aging; gastric cancer; interleukin-22; myeloid-derived suppressor cells

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