Colorectal cancer-infiltrating T lymphocytes display a distinct chemokine receptor expression profile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: T lymphocytes exert important homeostatic functions in the healthy intestinal mucosa, whereas in case of colorectal cancer (CRC), infiltration of T lymphocytes into the tumor is crucial for an effective anti-tumor immune response. In both situations, the recruitment mechanisms of T lymphocytes into the tissues are essential for the immunological functions deciding the outcome. The recruitment of T lymphocytes is largely dependent on their expression of various chemokine receptors. The aim of this study was to identify potential chemokine receptors involved in the recruitment of T lymphocytes to normal human colonic mucosa and to CRC tissue, respectively, by examining the expression of 16 different chemokine receptors on T lymphocytes isolated from these tissues. Methods: Tissues were collected from patients undergoing bowel resection for CRC. Lymphocytes were isolated through enzymatic tissue degradation of CRC tissue and nearby located unaffected mucosa, respectively. The expression of a broad panel of chemokine receptors on the freshly isolated T lymphocytes was examined by flow cytometry. Results: In the normal colonic mucosa, the frequencies of cells expressing CCR2, CCR4, CXCR3, and CXCR6 differed significantly between CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms mediating T lymphocyte recruitment to the gut differ between CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. In CRC, the frequencies of cells expressing CCR2 and CXCR5 were significantly lower in both the CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte populations compared to unaffected colonic mucosa, and the frequency of CCR9+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes was significantly decreased in CRC tissue. Conclusions: With regard to the normal gut mucosa, the results suggest that the molecular mechanisms mediating T lymphocyte recruitment differ between CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, which are important for understanding gut homeostasis. Importantly, T lymphocytes from CRC compared to normal colonic tissue displayed a distinct chemokine receptor expression profile, suggesting that mechanisms for recruitment of T lymphocytes to CRC tissue are skewed compared to normal colonic mucosa. Understanding these mechanisms could help in developing new strategies in cancer immunotherapy and to optimize already available alternatives such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lund University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • Chemokine receptor, Colorectal cancer, Homing, Mucosa, T lymphocyte
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 11
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes