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Phenotype and function of CXCR5+CD45RA-CD4+ T cells were altered in HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma and elevated serum CXCL13 predicted better prognosis.


ABSTRACT: The present study reveals an immunological characterization of circulating and tumor-infiltrating T follicular helper cells (Tfh), namely CXCR5+CD45RA-CD4+ T cells, and their related cytokines in hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. In HCC patients, circulating Tfh cells showed a CCR7+ and/or ICOS+ phenotype with increased Th2-like cells and decreased Th1-like and Th17-like subsets. Although the bulk frequency of circulating Tfh cells was not altered in HCC patients, the frequency of infiltrated CXCR5+CD45RA-CD4+ CD3+cells was higher in tumor than in para-tumor tissues, and Th1-like cells were the predominant phenotype. Circulating Tfh cells in HCC patients were defective in the production of IL-21 in vitro, which was in accordance with lower IL-21 levels in tumor tissues than in para-tumor tissues. Serum CXCL13 was increased in HCC patients and associated with recurrence-free survival after hepatectomy. This was confirmed in an additional HCC cohort of 111 patients with up to 5 years follow-up. Immunohistochemical staining indicated that the percentage of CXCR5+ or CXCL13+ cells was higher in poorly differentiated than in well-differentiated tumors. In conclusion, patients with HBV-related HCC showed altered phenotypes and impaired function of Tfh cells or subpopulations. CXCL13 could be a potential biomarker for predicting recurrence in HCC patients after hepatectomy.

SUBMITTER: Duan Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4792554 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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