The underlying mechanisms by which tumor cells are resistant to CTL-mediated apoptosis are not clear. Using a human model of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-cell NHL), we show that intratumoral Treg cells inhibit the proliferation and granule production of activated autologous infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Our results also show that degranulation and subsequent cytotoxic activity of infiltrating CD8+ T cells exposed to lymphoma B cells is completely attenuated by the presence of intratumoral Treg cells. Furthermore, we show that increased numbers of intratumoral Treg cells correlates with the number of CD8 + T cells in biopsy specimens from patients with B-cell NHL, supporting the in vitro findings that intratumoral Treg cells inhibit proliferation of infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Taken together, these data indicate that human lymphoma B cells are sensitive to autologous CTL-mediated cell death but are protected by the inhibitory function of intratumoral Treg cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research