Follicular lymphoma B cells induce the conversion of conventional CD4(+) T cells to T-regulatory cells INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER Ai, W. Z., Hou, L., Zeiser, R., Czerwinski, D., Negrin, R. S., Levy, R. 2009; 124 (1): 239-244


There has been accumulating evidence that CD4(+)CD25(+) FoxP3 expressing regulatory T cells (Treg) are highly concentrated in tumors, thereby fostering an immune-privileged microenvironment. Some studies have shown that T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation can convert conventional T cells into Treg. Follicular lymphoma (FL) B cells can enhance this Treg conversion. We investigated whether FL tumor B cells, as opposed to normal B cells, are unique in their ability to convert effector T cells into Treg. We found that tumor B cells alone, without artificial TCR stimulation, could induce conventional T cells to express FoxP3 and to acquire regulatory function. In contrast to their malignant counterpart, normal B cells did not induce Treg conversion. Treg conversion was independent of the T cell background, as T cells isolated from FL or normal peripheral blood were equally susceptible to being converted by tumor B cells. Our study provides evidence for a tumor-specific mechanism by which FL tumor cells promote immune escape through the induction of Treg.

View details for DOI 10.1002/ijc.23881

View details for PubMedID 18814264