The Prevalence Of Cervical Regulatory T Cells in HPV-Related Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) Correlates Inversely with Spontaneous Regression of CIN



Kei Kawana, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.




Local adaptive cervical regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the most likely direct suppressors of the immune eradication of cervical intraepithelial lesion (CIN). PD-1 expression on T cells induces Tregs. No studies have quantitatively analyzed the Tregs and PD-1+ cells residing in CIN lesions.

Method of study

Cervical lymphocytes were collected using cytobrushes from CIN patients and analyzed by FACS analysis. Comparisons were made between populations of cervical Tregs and PD-1+ CD4+ T cells in CIN regressors and non-regressors.


A median of 11% of cervical CD4+ T cells were Tregs, while a median of 30% were PD-1+ cells. The proportions of cervical CD4+ T cells that were Tregs and/or PD-1+ cells were significantly lower in CIN regressors when compared with non-regressors.


The prevalence of cervical tolerogenic T cells correlates inversely with spontaneous regression of CIN. Cervical Tregs may play an important role in HPV-related neoplastic immunoevasion.