Overexpression of Regulatory T Cell-Related Markers (FOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR) by Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Patients with Breast Cancer

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.

2 Molecular Medicine Research Center, Research Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.

3 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

4 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

5 Department of Laboratory Sciences, Para-Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

6 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

Abstract

Background: Regulatory T (Treg) cells are immunosuppressor lymphocytes that play a critical role in the establishment
and progression of cancers. A number of markers, especially FOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR influence the function of
Treg cells. This investigation aimed to evaluate the expression of a number of important Treg cell-related markers by
peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from newly-diagnosed women with breast cancer. Methods: The fresh
PBMCs were obtained from 20 women with breast cancer and 20 healthy individuals. The PBMCs from both groups
were cultured for 32 hours in the presence or absence of PHA (10 μg/ml). After total RNA extraction from cultured
PBMCs, the expression of the FOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR transcripts was assessed using real time-PCR. Results:
The mRNA expression of FOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR in unstimulated PBMCs from patients with breast cancer were
significantly higher than healthy control group (P<0.05, PFOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR transcripts in PHA-stimulated PBMCs from patients with breast cancer were significantly
increased in comparison with healthy individuals (P<0.01, Pexpression of FOXP3, CTLA-4 and GITR represent higher activity of Treg cells in patients with breast cancer that may
play an important role in the tumor establishment and development.

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