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Expression of inhibitory natural killer receptors on tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T lymphocyte lineage in human endometrial carcinoma
  1. W. C. CHANG*,
  2. S. C. HUANG*,
  3. P. L. TORNG*,
  4. D. Y. CHANG*,
  5. W. C. HSU*,
  6. S. H. CHIOU,
  7. S. N. CHOW* and
  8. B. C. SHEU*
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital
  2. Graduate Institute of Immunology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Bor-Ching Sheu, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 10020, Taiwan. Email: bcsheu{at}


To investigate the expression of natural killer receptors (NKRs) within the human tumor milieu, we directly examined the in vivo expressions of various NKRs on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) derived from human endometrial carcinoma (EC). In total, 22 patients with stage IA–IIIA EC were enrolled. TILs were isolated from tissue specimens by means of a mechanical dispersal technique. The subpopulations of immunocytes were quantified, and expressions of NKRs on CD8+ T cells were analyzed by triple-color flow cytometry. CD8+ T cells express higher ratios of CD94 and NKG2A in TILs than in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in human EC. Flow cytometry reveals that 15.90% of CD3+CD8+ TILs compared with 2.10% of CD3+CD8+ PBMCs express the NKG2A molecules (P < 0.001). The percentage expressions of CD94 are 8.40% in CD3+CD8+ TILs and 3.80% in CD3+CD8+ PBMCs (P = 0.013). The numbers of CD8+ T cells expressing CD158b and NKB1 are higher in CD3+CD8+ PBMCs in EC than in normal (CD158b: 10.70% vs 2.60%, P < 0.001; NKB1: 2.20% vs 0.40%, P = 0.018, respectively). Increased expression of CD94/NKG2A restricted to tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cell subsets may shape the cytotoxic responses, which indicate a possible role of tumor escape from host immunity in human EC.

  • endometrial cancer
  • killer inhibitory receptor
  • tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

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