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TNFR2 but not TNFR1 is the main TNFR expressed by B and T lymphocytes in breast cancer draining lymph nodes

Atri Ghods, Abbas Ghaderi, Mahmoud Shariat, Abdol-Rasoul Talei, Fereshteh Mehdipour
Immunology Letters 2019 March 22
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a key cytokine in inflammation and a driving force for leukocyte migration and recruitment. However, it may exert contrasting effects on the immune responses depend on its differential binding to its receptors (TNFR1 or TNFR2). The expression of TNF receptors by lymphocytes in the tumor draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) has not been thoroughly investigated. Herein, the expression of TNFRs on lymphocytes in the breast TDLNs was assessed. 40 axillary LN samples were obtained from breast cancer patients. Mononuclear cells were isolated using Ficoll-Hypaque gradient centrifugation and stained with anti-CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, TNFR1 and TNFR2 and subjected to flow cytometry. Results showed that TNFR2 was detected on unstimulated B or T cells in the breast TDLNs while TNFR1 was nearly absent on these cells. Short or long term activation did not increase the expression of TNFR1. The percentage of TNFR2+ cells was significantly higher in CD4+ compared to CD19+ or CD8+ cells. No significant association was observed between the percentage of TNFR2 expressing T cells and prognostic indicators. However, the percentage of TNFR2+ B cells in the metastatic LNs had negative associations with tumor grade and the number of involved LNs (P = 0.009 and P = 0.04). Collectively, TNFR2 was the main TNFR expressed by unstimulated B or T lymphocytes in the breast TDLNs and the frequency of TNFR2+ B cells was connected to good prognosticators. The effects of TNFR2 expression by lymphocytes of breast TDLNs on their functions requires more functional studies.


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