T lymphocytes infiltrating advanced grades of cervical neoplasia. CD8-positive cells are recruited to invasion

Cancer. 1995 Oct 15;76(8):1411-5. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19951015)76:8<1411::aid-cncr2820760817>3.0.co;2-v.


Background: Impaired cellular immunity appears to be a risk factor for progression of cervical neoplasia, but the immunobiology of neoplastic progression is poorly understood. The objective of this study was to characterize the subpopulations of T lymphocytes that infiltrate various grades of cervical neoplasia including metaplasia to invasive cancer in immunocompetent women.

Method: In 65 patients with a spectrum of cervical disease ranging from normal cytology to carcinoma, the relative proportions of total T lymphocytes and CD4- or CD8-expressing (helper or cytotoxic) T lymphocyte subsets were determined by immunohistochemistry.

Results: When the invasive carcinoma stromal infiltrate was compared with the infiltrate of preinvasive lesions, the numbers of total T cells and the CD8-positive subset increased significantly in the invasive cancers (P < 0.005). Although immunocyte infiltrates were highly concentrated in focal clusters beneath the preinvasive squamous lesions, the CD8-positive immunocytes diffusely infiltrated the invading tumor.

Conclusions: The CD8-positive T cell infiltrate far exceeded the CD4-positive cells in the invasive, but not in the preinvasive lesions, a finding that suggests that CD8 cells are recruited preferentially to cervical lesions with progression to invasion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cervix Uteri / anatomy & histology*
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • T-Lymphocytes*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*