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Phenotypic characteristics of mononuclear cells in human ovarian tumors — with special reference to cystic and ascitic fluid
  1. S. Kullander* and
  2. A. Rausing
  1. * Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and
  2. Pathology, University of Lund, Malmö General Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
  1. Address for correspondence: Professor St. Kullander, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Malmö General Hospital, S-214 01 Malmö, Sweden.


The occurrence of mononuclear cells and their cell-surface phenotype was studied in cryo- and paraffin sections in 26 untreated ovarian tumors and in normal ovarian tissue. T cells (positive for CD4 or CD8 markers) were sparsely represented in all sections of normal ovarian tissue and benign ovarian tumors, and in most ovarian cancer sections. B cells were found in three malignant tumors, CD57-positive (natural killer) cells in two, and CD25 (interleukin-2 receptor)-positive cells in one. Macrophages occurred sparsely both in normal ovarian tissue and in benign and malignant ovarian tumors. One endometrioid ovarian cancer, however, manifested rich infiltration of T cells (predominantly positive for CD8 marker). Cystic fluid from malignancies manifested higher prostaglandin concentrations and total cell counts than did benign cystic fluid, but sparse lymphocytes as a rule (5–10% of the total cell count). As compared to cystic fluid, ascitic fluid had higher concentrations both of prostaglandins and cells, with up to 25% lymphocytes in connection with malignancies. Immunogenic activity thus would appear to be weak in ovarian cancer. The harvest of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from cystic fluid in ovarian cancers is moderate, compared to that of tumor-associated lymphocytes (TAL) from corresponding ascitic fluid samples.

  • ascites
  • cystic fluid
  • lymphocytes
  • ovarian tumors.

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