Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes contain higher proportion of FOXP3+ T lymphocytes from cervical cancer than that from cervical intraepithelial zneoplasm



Cervical cancer (CC) is preceded by well-defined changes in the epithelium known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasm (CIN). Our previous studies have revealed that the subpopulations and functions of tumor- infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from CC are altered. Dysfunction of the host immune system in cancer patients can be due to a number of reasons including the inhibitory functions of regulatory T (Treg) cells. FOXP3 has been shown to be a master control gene for the development and function of CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells. To characterize the functional role of Treg cells in progress of CC, we compared samples from four groups: CIN 2, CIN3, CC with and without tumor draining lymph node. By using the immunofluorescence staining and confocal-based image quantitative analysis in paraffin-embedded tissue sections, excess in the presence of FOXP3+ cells is observed from CC compared to that from CIN2/3. The significant difference of FOXP3+ cells expression level between CIN and CC indicate that the Treg might play an important role in the progression of CC.