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CD3<sup>+</sup>/CD16<sup>+</sup>CD56<sup>+</sup> cell numbers in peripheral blood are correlated with higher tumor burden in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Author(s): Iwona Hus | Elżbieta Starosławska | Agnieszka Bojarska-Junak | Aneta Dobrzyńska-Rutkowska | Agata Surdacka | Paulina Wdowiak | Magdalena Wasiak | Maria Kusz | Anna Twardosz | Anna Dmoszyńska | Jacek Roliński

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 49;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 183;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma | anti-tumor immunity | CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the commonest histological type of malignant lymphoma, and remains incurable in many cases. Developing more efficient immunotherapy strategies will require better understanding of the disorders of immune responses in cancer patients. NKT (natural killer-like T) cells were originally described as a unique population of T cells with the co-expression of NK cell markers. Apart from their role in protecting against microbial pathogens and controlling autoimmune diseases, NKT cells have been recently revealed as one of the key players in the immune responses against tumors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequency of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells in the peripheral blood of 28 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients in correlation with clinical and laboratory parameters. Median percentages of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ were significantly lower in patients with DLBCL compared to healthy donors (7.37% vs. 9.01%, p = 0.01; 4.60% vs. 5.81%, p = 0.03), although there were no differences in absolute counts. The frequency and the absolute numbers of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells were lower in advanced clinical stages than in earlier ones. The median percentage of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells in patients in Ann Arbor stages 1–2 was 5.55% vs. 3.15% in stages 3–4 (p = 0.02), with median absolute counts respectively 0.26 G/L vs. 0.41 G/L (p = = 0.02). The percentage and absolute numbers of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells were significantly higher in DL -BCL patients without B-symptoms compared to the patients with B-symptoms, (5.51% vs. 2.46%, p = 0.04; 0.21 G/L vs. 0.44 G/L, p = 0.04). The percentage of CD3+/CD16+CD56+ cells correlated adversely with serum lactate dehydrogenase (R= –445; p < 0.05) which might influence NKT count. These figures suggest a relationship between higher tumor burden and more aggressive disease and decreased NKT numbers. But it remains to be explained whether low NKT cell counts in the peripheral blood of patients with DLBCL are the result of their suppression by the tumor cells, or their migration to affected lymph nodes or organs. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2011; Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 183–187)