Research Papers:

Expression of immune checkpoints in T cells of esophageal cancer patients

Jinhua Xie, Ji Wang, Shouliang Cheng, Liangfeng Zheng, Feiyue Ji, Lin Yang, Yan Zhang and Haoming Ji _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:63669-63678. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11611

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Jinhua Xie1,*, Ji Wang2,*, Shouliang Cheng3, Liangfeng Zheng3, Feiyue Ji3, Lin Yang4, Yan Zhang1, Haoming Ji1

1Cancer Center, Hai’an Hospital Affiliated to Nantong University, Hai’an, China

2Department of Oncology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China

3The Central Laboratory, Hai’an Hospital Affiliated to Nantong University, Hai’an, China

4Cyrus Tang Hematology Center, Soochow University, Suzhou, China

*Co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Haoming Ji, email: [email protected]

Keywords: esophageal cancer, immune checkpoints, PD-1, TIM-3, cancer immunotherapy

Received: June 29, 2016     Accepted: August 16, 2016     Published: August 25, 2016


Inhibition of immune checkpoint proteins (checkpoints) has become a promising anti-esophageal cancer strategy. We here tested expressions of immune checkpoints in human esophageal cancers. Our results showed the expressions of many immune checkpoints, including CD28, CD27, CD137L, programmed death 1 (PD-1), T cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (TIM-3), T cell Ig and ITIM domain (TIGIT), CD160, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), CD200, CD137 and CD158, were dysregulated in peripheral T cells of esophageal cancer patients. Further, the expressions of PD-1, TIM-3 and TIGIT were upregulated in tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), which might be associated with TILs exhaustion. Meanwhile, the expressions of PD-1 and TIM-3 on CD4+ T cells were closely associated with clinic pathological features of esophageal cancer patients. These results indicate that co-inhibitory receptors PD-1, TIM-3 and TIGIT may be potential therapeutic oncotargets for esophageal cancer.

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