Immunosuppression may be present within condyloma acuminata

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Dec;59(6):967-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.08.011.


Background: Condyloma acuminatum are common lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is associated with many human cancers, and a vaccine now prevents infection with high-risk HPV. However, eradication of established disease is difficult, indicating that these lesions are capable of local immunosuppression.

Objective: This study examines the immunohistochemical staining characteristics of condyloma acuminatum lesions for markers of cellular immunity, including T-lymphocyte subsets, dendritic cells, and infected keratinocytes and markers of antigen presentation in condyloma tissue.

Methods: Five snap-frozen, optimal cutting temperature-embedded condyloma lesions were immunostained for T-lymphocyte markers Fox P3, CD8, CD25 and molecules involved in antigen presentation.

Results: Condylomas demonstrated hallmarks of immunosuppression, such as increased cellular interleukin-10 production, decreased expression of transporter associated with antigen presentation, CD40, and carbonic anhydrase IX, decreased dendritic cell counts, and increased T-regulatory cell infiltration.

Limitations: This study was performed with lesions from a single center, and control tissue from the same patients was not available because of lack of patient consent.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that condylomas induce a local immunosuppressive environment, with deficits in antigen presentation and enhancement of immunosuppressive T-regulatory cell populations. Strategies to block this immunosuppression are required to elicit effective immune responses to HPV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / biosynthesis
  • CD40 Antigens / analysis
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / biosynthesis
  • Chemokine CCL1 / biosynthesis
  • Condylomata Acuminata / immunology*
  • Condylomata Acuminata / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CCL1 protein, human
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Chemokine CCL1
  • CA9 protein, human
  • Carbonic Anhydrase IX
  • Carbonic Anhydrases