Clinical significance of herpes virus entry mediator expression in hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) is overexpressed in several malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, to the best of our knowledge, the clinical significance of HVEM in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC remains unclear. Thus, the present study aimed to explore the clinical significance of HVEM in HBV-related HCC. In the present study, HVEM expression was evaluated in HCC cell lines and HCC frozen samples. The prognostic value of HVEM was assessed in a cohort of 221 patients with HBV-related HCC, following radical resection. B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) expression in subsets of CD8+ T cells was determined via flow cytometry analysis. The results demonstrated high HVEM expression in HCC cell lines, and in HCC tissues compared with paired non-cancerous liver tissues. HVEM expression was demonstrated to be significantly associated with tumor encapsulation and vascular invasion. Furthermore, tumor HVEM status was significantly associated with infiltration of regulatory T cells, but not with CD8+ T cells. Notably, high HVEM expression in HCC was determined to be an independent predictor of an unfavorable outcome of patients with HCC following radical resection. Higher BTLA expression (the receptor of HVEM) was observed in both HCC-infiltrating CD8+ effector memory (CCR7- CD45RA-) and CD45RA+ effector memory (CCR7- CD45RA+) T cells in HCC tissues and blood compared with those in paired peritumor tissues or peripheral blood. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that HVEM may serve a critical role in HBV-related HCC, most likely by promoting tumor progression and tumor immune evasion, thus the HVEM/BLTA signaling pathway may be a potential target in tumor immunotherapy.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: It has been demonstrated that signals from the inhibitory receptor B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) are involved in regulating the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. However, the expression and anatomical distribution of BTLA and its ligand, the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), have not yet been determined in cases of HBV-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) patients. METHODS: In this study, the expression of BTLA and HVEM in liver tissues from HBV-ACLF, chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients and healthy individuals was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: The results of this analysis demonstrated that both molecules were observed in the HBV-ACLF samples and that their expression was chiefly in the infiltrating inflammatory cells and the damaged bile ducts. However, they were absent in liver sections from CHB patients and healthy controls. Immunofluorescence double-staining indicated that BTLA was found on CK-18+ epithelial cells, CD31+ endothelial cells, CD68+ macrophages, CD56+ NK cells, CD16+ monocytes, CD3+ , CD8+ T cells, and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg). By contrast, HVEM expression was restricted to CK18+ epithelial cells and CD68+ macrophages. Moreover, the expression of several members of the B7 superfamily, including PD-L1, PD-L2, B7-H3 and B7-H4, was also detected in these liver tissues, and these proteins were co-expressed with HVEM. Interestingly, the expression of fibrinogen-like protein 2 (FGL2), a virus-induced procoagulant molecule, was also found in liver sections from HBV-ACLF, this molecule also co-expresses with BTLA and HVEM. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that BTLA-HVEM signaling is likely to affect the pathogenesis of HBV-ACLF, a clear understanding of the functional roles of these proteins should further elucidate the disease process. VIRTUAL SLIDES: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/8080806838149123.
Project description:The B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) is an Ig super family member that binds to the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), a TNF receptor super family (TNFRSF) member. Engagement of BTLA by HVEM triggers inhibitory signals, although recent evidence indicates that BTLA also may act as an activating ligand for HVEM. In this study, we reveal a novel role for the BTLA-HVEM pathway in promoting the survival of activated CD8(+) T cells in the response to an oral microbial infection. Our data show that both BTLA- and HVEM-deficient mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes had significantly reduced numbers of primary effector and memory CD8(+) T cells, despite normal proliferation and expansion compared to controls. In addition, blockade of the BTLA-HVEM interaction early in the response led to significantly reduced numbers of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. HVEM expression on the CD8(+) T cells as well as BTLA expression on a cell type other than CD8(+) T lymphocytes, was required. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the function of the BTLA-HVEM pathway is not limited to inhibitory signaling in T lymphocytes, and instead, that BTLA can provide crucial, HVEM-dependent signals that promote survival of antigen activated CD8(+) T cell during bacterial infection.
Project description:Defining the molecular interactions required to program activated CD8 T cells to survive and become memory cells may allow us to understand how to augment anti-viral immunity. HVEM (herpes virus entry mediator) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family that interacts with ligands in the TNF family, LIGHT and Lymphotoxin-?, and in the Ig family, B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) and CD160. The Ig family members initiate inhibitory signaling when engaged with HVEM, but may also activate survival gene expression. Using a model of vaccinia virus infection, we made the unexpected finding that deficiency in HVEM or BTLA profoundly impaired effector CD8 T cell survival and development of protective immune memory. Mixed adoptive transfer experiments indicated that BTLA expressed in CD8?+ dendritic cells functions as a trans-activating ligand that delivers positive co-signals through HVEM expressed in T cells. Our data demonstrate a critical role of HVEM-BTLA bidirectional cosignaling system in antiviral defenses by driving the differentiation of memory CD8 T cells.
Project description:CD8(+) T cells play important roles in anti-tumor immunity but distribution profile or functional characteristics of effector memory subsets during tumor progression are unclear. We found that, in oral squamous carcinoma patients, circulating CD8(+) T cell pools skewed toward effector memory subsets with the distribution frequency of CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells and CCR7(-) CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells negatively correlated with each other. A significantly higher frequency of CD127(lo) CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells or CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells among total CD8(+) T cells was found in peripheral blood or tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, but not in regional lymph nodes. The CD127(hi) CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells or CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells maintained significantly higher IFN-?, IL-2 productivity and ex vivo proliferative capacity, while the CD127(lo) CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells or CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells exhibited higher granzyme B productivity and susceptibility to activation induced cell death. A higher ratio of CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells to CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells was associated with advanced cancer staging and poor differentiation of tumor cells. Therefore, the CD127(lo) CCR7(-)CD45RA(-)CD8(+) T cells and CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells are functionally similar CD8(+) T cell subsets which exhibit late differentiated effector phenotypes and the shift of peripheral CD8(+) effector memory balance toward CCR7(-)CD45RA(+)CD8(+) T cells is associated with OSCC progression.
Project description:The function of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, which may protect against both infectious and malignant diseases, can be impaired by ligation of their inhibitory receptors, which include CTL-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1). Recently, B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) was identified as a novel inhibitory receptor with structural and functional similarities to CTLA-4 and PD-1. BTLA triggering leads to decreased antimicrobial and autoimmune T cell responses in mice, but its functions in humans are largely unknown. Here we have demonstrated that as human viral antigen-specific CD8+ T cells differentiated from naive to effector cells, their surface expression of BTLA was gradually downregulated. In marked contrast, human melanoma tumor antigen-specific effector CD8+ T cells persistently expressed high levels of BTLA in vivo and remained susceptible to functional inhibition by its ligand herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM). Such persistence of BTLA expression was also found in tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells from melanoma patients with spontaneous antitumor immune responses and after conventional peptide vaccination. Remarkably, addition of CpG oligodeoxynucleotides to the vaccine formulation led to progressive downregulation of BTLA in vivo and consequent resistance to BTLA-HVEM-mediated inhibition. Thus, BTLA activation inhibits the function of human CD8+ cancer-specific T cells, and appropriate immunotherapy may partially overcome this inhibition.
Project description:Currently, the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not clearly understood. The LIGHT/HVEM/BTLA co-signaling pathway may be involved in the pathogenesis of RA, although reports on the expression levels of LIGHT, HVEM and BTLA in T lymphocytes from RA patients are limited.In this study, we recruited 30 healthy controls and 21 RA patients. Clinical characteristics were collected for RA patients. The levels of LIGHT, HVEM and BTLA expressed on the surface of circulating T cells of RA patients and healthy controls were measured by flow cytometry.The percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes that expressed BTLA from RA patients were all higher than those of the controls (all p < 0.05), while the percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes that expressed HVEM and LIGHT were all lower than those of the controls (all p < 0.05). The rheumatoid factor and the percentage of HVEM+CD4+ T lymphocytes showed a statistically significant negative correlation in RA patients (r = -0.453, p = 0.039), as did the swollen joint count and the percentage of BTLA+CD8+ T lymphocytes (r = -0.501, p = 0.021).Here, we provide the first report on the increased expression of BTLA in T lymphocytes and on the decreased expression of HVEM and LIGHT in RA patients. BTLA, HVEM and LIGHT might be involved in the pathogenesis of RA and have the potential to be new clinically useful characteristics of RA.
Project description: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.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are major components of tumor-infiltrating immune cells with potent immunosuppressive properties in gastric cancer (GC) microenvironment. However, different subsets of the Tregs and their relevance to GC are unknown. Here, we found that patients with GC showed a significantly higher Tregs infiltration in tumors, and CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset constituted most tumor-infiltrating Tregs. Tumor-infiltrating CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset with an effector/memory phenotype accumulated in tumors and expressed low level of HLA-DR. Gastric tumor-derived TNF-? induced CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset with similar phenotype to their status in tumors and inhibited their HLA-DR expression via activating STAT3 phosphorylation. These tumor-associated CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset exerted superior immunosuppressive properties to effectively suppress CD8+ T cells' anti-tumor function including CD8+ T-cell IFN-? and granzyme B (GrB) production as well as CD8+ T-cell proliferation in vitro, and also contributed to the growth and progression of human gastric tumors in vivo, via IL-10 secretion and cell-cell contact mechanisms. Moreover, increased tumor-infiltrating CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset as well as higher intratumoral CD45RA-CCR7- Treg/CD8+ T-cell ratio was associated with advanced disease progression and reduced GC patient survival. This study therefore identifies a novel immunosuppressive pathway involving CD45RA-CCR7- Treg subset development within the GC microenvironment. Efforts to inhibit this pathway may therefore prove a valuable strategy to prevent, and to treat this immune suppressive of GC.
Project description:B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) is an immune-regulatory receptor, similar to CTLA-4 and PD-1, and is mainly expressed on B-, T-, and all mature lymphocyte cells. Herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM)-BTLA plays a critical role in immune tolerance and immune responses which are areas of intense research. However, the mechanisms of the BTLA and the BTLA/HVEM signaling pathway in human diseases remain unclear. This review describes the research milestones of BTLA and HVEM in chronological order and their role in chronic HBV infection.
Project description:In a recent adoptive cell therapy (ACT) clinical trial using autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in patients with metastatic melanoma, we found an association between CD8+ T cells expressing the inhibitory receptor B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) and clinical response. Here, we further characterized this CD8+BTLA+ TIL subset and their CD8+BTLA- counterparts. We found that the CD8+ BTLA+ TILs had an increased response to IL-2, were less-differentiated effector-memory (TEM) cells, and persisted longer in vivo after infusion. In contrast, CD8+BTLA- TILs failed to proliferate and expressed genes associated with T-cell deletion/tolerance. Paradoxically, activation of BTLA signaling by its ligand, herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), inhibited T-cell division and cytokine production, but also activated the Akt/PKB pathway thus protecting CD8+BTLA+ TILs from apoptosis. Our results point to a new role of BTLA as a useful T-cell differentiation marker in ACT and a dual signaling molecule that curtails T-cell activation while also conferring a survival advantage for CD8+ T cells. These attributes may explain our previous observation that BTLA expression on CD8+ TILs correlates with clinical response to adoptive T-cell therapy in metastatic melanoma.