Most non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are of B-cell origin, but the tumor tissue can be variably infiltrated with T cells. In the present study, we have identified a subset of CD4+CD25+ T cells with high levels of CTLA-4 and Foxp3 (intratumoral Treg cells) that are overrepresented in biopsy specimens of B-cell NHL (median of 17% in lymphoma biopsies, 12% in inflammatory tonsil, and 6% in tumor-free lymph nodes; P = .001). We found that these CD4+CD25+ T cells suppressed the proliferation and cytokine (IFN-γ and IL-4) production of infiltrating CD4+CD25- T cells in response to PHA stimulation. PD-1 was found to be constitutively and exclusively expressed on a subset of infiltrating CD4+CD25- T cells, and B7-H1 could be induced on intratumoral CD4+CD25+ T cells in B-cell NHL. Anti-B7-H1 antibody or PD-1 fusion protein partly restored the proliferation of infiltrating CD4+CD25- T cells when cocultured with intratumoral Treg cells. Finally, we found that CCL22 secreted by lymphoma B cells is involved in the chemotaxis and migration of intratumoral Treg cells that express CCR4, but not CCR8. Taken together, our results suggest that Treg cells are highly represented in the area of B-cell NHL and that malignant B cells are involved in the recruitment of these cells into the area of lymphoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology