Mononuclear Cells in Malignant and Benign Human Breast Tissue

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1983 Aug;107(8):415-7.


The mononuclear cell infiltrate in benign and malignant breast tissue was studied using monoclonal antibodies with an immunoenzymatic technique. Infiltrating duct carcinomas contained a mononuclear cell infiltrate made up mostly of T lymphocytes, with minor B-cell and macrophage populations. The most preponderant T-cell subset was the T8, cytotoxic-suppressor cell. Some tumors contained T6-positive cells, possibly immature T cells. In contrast, stromal lymphocytes in benign fibrous mastopathy were largely T cells, but the T4, helper-inducer cell was the most preponderant, and T6 cells were not detected. Intraepithelial lymphocytes were identified in benign breast tissue. Intraepithelial lymphocytes are T cells, with a great preponderance of the T8 phenotype. The T6-positive cells were also identified within the epithelium, but they seemed to represent myoepithelial cells rather than immature T cells.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Breast / cytology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / classification


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal