Regulatory T cells and M2-polarized tumour-associated macrophages are associated with the oncogenesis and progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma

A. Kouketsu, I. Sato, M. Oikawa, Y. Shimizu, H. Saito, K. Tashiro, Y. Yamashita, T. Takahashi, H. Kumamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) contribute to the tumour microenvironment by inhibiting anti-tumour immune responses. This study was performed to investigate the roles of Tregs and TAMs in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and oral epithelial precursor lesions (OEPL). The expression of Treg markers CD25 and FoxP3 and TAM markers CD163 and CD204 was investigated in 82 OSCC and 45 OEPL specimens, and their associations with clinicopathological parameters were analyzed. Correlations were found among CD25, FoxP3, CD163, and CD204 levels (P < 0.001), and these targets were up-regulated in OSCC compared to OEPL (P < 0.001). In OSCC, infiltration of Tregs and/or M2 TAMs was associated with sex and clinicopathological features, such as tumour size, nodal metastasis, tissue differentiation, stromal reaction, invasive behaviour, and invasive depth. In OEPL, CD25, FoxP3, CD163, and CD204 immunoreactivities were significantly associated with sex, postoperative recurrence, and cancerization to OSCC. This study is novel in showing that the infiltration of Tregs and M2 TAMs is significantly associated with the progression of premalignant lesions to OSCC. This suggests that these cells represent prognostic biomarkers for premalignant lesion progression and that immunotherapeutic approaches to control Treg/M2 TAM numbers could protect against progression to malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1288
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct

Keywords

  • oral cancer
  • oral epithelial precursor lesions
  • regulatory T cell
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • tumour-associated macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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