Association between αβ and γδ T‑cell subsets and clinicopathological characteristics in patients with breast cancer
- Meng Zhang
- Xueling Lu
- Changran Wei
- Xiangqi Li
Affiliations: First Clinical College, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, Shandong 250355, P.R. China, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Tai'an City Central Hospital, Tai'an, Shandong 271000, P.R. China, Department of Breast Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Tai'an, Shandong 271000, P.R. China
- Published online on: October 5, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.12188
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The aim of the present study was to discuss the effect of surgery on the T‑lymphocyte subsets of patients with breast cancer (BC) and investigate the association between peripheral blood αβ and γδ T‑cell counts and the clinicopathological characteristics of BC. The CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ and γδ T‑cell subsets in the peripheral blood of healthy volunteers and Patients with BC before and after surgery were determined using flow cytometry. The association between αβ and γδ T‑cell counts in the peripheral blood and clinicopathological characteristics was analyzed by comparing the differences in the αβ and γδ T‑cell counts in the peripheral blood of Patients with BC before and after surgery with those of healthy volunteers and combining with clinicopathological data. The CD3+, CD4+ and γδ T‑cell counts in the peripheral blood of Patients with BC were lower compared with those in healthy volunteers (P=0.0077, 0.0116 and 0.0003, respectively), whereas the number of CD8+ cells was higher (P=0.0241). The CD3+, CD4+ and γδ T‑cell counts and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio after surgery were significantly higher compared with those before surgery (P=0.0109, 0.0031, 0.0165 and 0.018, respectively). There was no significant difference between the number of CD8+ cells before and after surgery (P=0.0053), but the number of CD8+ cells was higher in healthy volunteers compared with that in Patients with BC (P<0.05). Moreover, the CD3+ cell number was higher in patients with TNM stage II/III compared with those with TNM stage I disease (P=0.187 and 0.022, respectively), and the peripheral blood CD4+/CD8+ ratio and number of γδ T cells were lower in stage III compared with stage I Patients with BC (P=0.0065 and 0.0176, respectively). Histological grading demonstrated that the CD4+/CD8+ ratio and number of γδ T cells in patients with stage III BC were lower compared with those with stage I BC (P=0.02 and 0.0128, respectively). The γδ T‑cell count in patients with luminal A and B subtypes was significantly higher compared with that in patients with basal‑like subtype (P=0.004 and 0.0104, respectively). The CD3+, CD4+ and γδ T‑cell counts were significantly lower in patients with lymph node (LN) metastasis compared with those without LN metastasis, and the CD8+ cell number was lower in patients without LN metastasis compared with that in patients with >10 LN metastases (P=0.0086, 0.0000 and 0.00468, respectively). The CD8+ cell count in patients without LN metastasis was lower compared with that in patients with 4‑9 and >10 LN metastases (P=0.0435 and 0.0283, respectively). Surgery affects the T‑lymphocyte subpopulations in patients with BC, and αβ and γδ T‑cell counts may increase following mastectomy. Therefore, measurement of peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets is crucial for understanding the immune function status of Patients with BC with differences in TNM stage, histological grade, cell subtypes and LN metastases, and may provide a basis for the application of T‑cell subsets in the comprehensive treatment of BC.