CD4+/CD57+/CD69+ T lymphocytes and CD14+ dendritic cells accumulate in advanced follicular lymphoma

Immunobiology. 2022 Sep;227(5):152257. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2022.152257. Epub 2022 Aug 8.


Follicular lymphoma is the second most frequent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, accounting for around 20 % of all lymphomas in Western countries. Initially, it behaves indolently, but in time becomes more aggressive and less susceptible to chemotherapy. Multiple features correlate with the survival of the patients and the progression of the disease, such as therapy with rituximab, tumour microenvironment and the intrafollicular proliferation index. Our research was focused on the association of specific components of tumour microenvironment and the tumour behaviour. The presence and the relative percentage of T lymphocytes, follicular dendritic cells, dendritic cells and macrophages was detected by immunohistochemical staining of the antigens specific for certain cell populations. Our results show that T lymphocytes and dendritic cells affect tumour growth, possibly through interactions with tumour cells. Higher patients' ECOG score and the outcome of the disease are associated with the presence of CD14+ dendritic cells in tumour tissue, while the worse overall survival of patients is associated with the increased number of activated helper T lymphocytes that express marker of exhaustion CD57. Taken together, our results suggest that the efficiency of the immune response against follicular lymphoma depends on more than one type of immune cells. Also, we found that the phenotype of these cells, rather than just their number, affects the tumour behaviour and in consequence survival of the patients.

Keywords: Dendritic cells; Exhausted phenotype; Follicular lymphoma; T lymphocytes; Tumour microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Follicular*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin*
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Rituximab