Highly clonal regulatory T-cell population in follicular lymphoma - inverse correlation with the diversity of CD8+ T cells

Oncoimmunology. 2015 Feb 3;4(5):e1002728. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2014.1002728. eCollection 2015 May.


The immune microenvironment in follicular lymphoma (FL) plays an important role in controlling disease characteristics. To characterize the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire in follicular lymphoma (FL) tissues, we applied a next-generation sequencing platform and deeply sequenced TCR cDNAs of T-cell subset populations present in pretreatment FL biopsy specimens. T regulatory cell (Treg) TCRs in FL tissues revealed a highly oligoclonal expansion compared to those in control lymph nodes. Furthermore, an inverse correlation was observed between the diversity of Treg and CD8+ TCRs in FL specimens. Interestingly, a tumor from an FL patient, who had not received anticancer treatment for more than 10 years, was found to have missense mutations in the peptide-binding domain of both human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II molecules, which might have presented tumor-specific antigens and enhanced host immune responses. Although further verification is required, our data suggest that the T-cell repertoire is skewed and restricted in FL and support the evolving understanding of the microenvironment in this disease.

Keywords: T-cell receptor (TCR); follicular lymphoma (FL); next-generation sequencing (NGS); tumor microenvironment.