Clonal T cell responses in tumor infiltrating lymphocytes from both regressive and progressive regions of primary human malignant melanoma

J Clin Invest. 1996 Jul 15;98(2):279-84. doi: 10.1172/JCI118790.


The T cell receptor (TCR) BV variable (V) gene repertoire of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) found in progressive and regressive regions of the same primary human melanomas were characterized by reverse transcription coupled polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). After surgery, the tumors were divided into different parts which were judged as regressive or progressive regions by visual inspection. Subsequently this diagnosis was confirmed by histology. From a total of four primary melanomas analyzed, 2 were drawn to be HLA-A2+. Only relatively few BV-gene families were expressed at significant levels in each of the samples. Comparison of the BV-expression in regressive versus progressive regions of the same tumor revealed major differences in all cases examined. Direct sequencing of RT-PCR products indicated that highly expressed BV-gene families were of clonal origin in both the regressive and progressive regions. Together, these data strongly suggest the occurrence of clonal T cell responses in both regressive and progressive areas of the same primary tumor. The differences in expression of certain BV-genes may correlate with the functional activity of certain populations of tumor-infiltrating T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Clonal Anergy*
  • DNA Primers
  • Disease Progression
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / pathology
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • DNA Primers
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta