The Th17/Treg balance and the expression of related cytokines in Uygur cervical cancer patients

Diagn Pathol. 2013 Apr 15;8:61. doi: 10.1186/1746-1596-8-61.


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.

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Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / blood
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / immunology*
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • China
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / blood
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cytokines