Analysis of Treg/Th17 cells in patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma
- Changfu Liu
- Zhou Tong
- Jingyu Tan
- Zengxi Xin
Published online on: July 26, 2019
Copyright: © Liu et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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The aim of the present study was to analyze the percentage of regulatory T cells (Treg) and T helper cell 17 (Th17) cells in the peripheral blood of patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) to provide novel insight into the development of immune‑targeting therapies for TSCC. Peripheral blood samples were collected from 40 patients with TSCC then the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and plasma were isolated for flow cytometry, cytometric bead array and reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. Results demonstrated that the percentage of cluster of differentiation (CD)4+ T cells in the peripheral blood of patients with TSCC decreased significantly compared with the control. However, the percentage of Treg and Th17 cells increased significantly compared with the control. The levels of interleukin (IL)‑10 and IL‑17a increased significantly in patients with TSCC. Expression of IL‑10 and IL‑17 in the advanced stages of cancer (stage III or IV) were significantly higher compared with the early stages (I and II). The mRNA expression levels of the transcription factors forkhead box protein 3 and RAR‑related orphan receptor‑γ increased significantly with stage of cancer. The percentage of Treg cells and Th17 cells increased significantly in patients with TSCC suggesting that there was an imbalance between Treg and Th17 cells. In conclusion, altered Treg/Th17 balance in TSCC may promote the disease progression and these results provide a theoretical basis for the development of immunomodulators targeting Treg/Th17.