Background: The fine balance of Th17/Treg is crucial for maintenance of immune homeostasis. The objective of this study was to investigate the balance of Th17/Treg and the expression of related cytokines in Uighur cervical cancer patients.
Methods: Peripheral blood was collected from 65 cases of cervical cancer patients, 42 cases of cervical CIN patients and 40 healthy people. Flow cytometry was used to detect the percentages of T cell subsets, including CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, Treg cells and Th17 cells. ELISA assay was conducted to detect expression levels of TGF-β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-23 and IFN-γ.
Results: There were no significant difference in the levels of CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ among the cervical cancer group, the CIN group and the healthy control group. However, compared with the healthy control group, the percentages of CD4+ CD25+ Treg, CD4+CD25+CD127- Treg, CD4+IL17+ Th17, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+, CD4+CD25- Foxp3+, CD8+CD25+CD127-Treg and CD8+CD25+Foxp3 were significantly higher in the cervical cancer group and the CIN group. Similar results were also found in the Th17/Treg ratio and the related cytokines. There was no significant difference between the cervical cancer group and the CIN group. Additionally, Th17 cell levels were positively correlated with IL-6, IL-23 and IL-17. Also, Treg cell levels were positively correlated with TGF-β, IL-10 and IL-6. Contrarily, Treg cell levels and IFN-γ were negatively correlated.
Conclusions: Our data indicated that the Th17/Treg balance was broken in peripheral blood of cervical cancer patients. Analysis of Th17/Treg balance may have a significant implication in diagnosing cervical cancer.
Virtual slides: The virtual slide for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1813823795931511.