Interleukin-31 and thymic stromal lymphopoietin expression in plasma and lymph node from Hodgkin lymphoma patients
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Elisa Ferretti1,*, Stefan Hohaus2,*, Arianna Di Napoli3, Beatrice Belmonte4, Annarosa Cuccaro2, Elisa Cupelli2, Eugenio Galli2, Vittoria Rufini5, Gino Tripodi6, Giulio Fraternali-Orcioni7, Vito Pistoia8,* and Anna Corcione1,*
1Laboratory of Oncology, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genova, Italy
2Institute of Hematology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy
3Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Pathology Unit, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Roma, Italy
4Tumor Immunology Unit, Department of Health Science, Human Pathology Section, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
5Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy
6Immunohaematology and Transfusion Centre, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genova, Italy
7Unit of Pathology, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino – IST – Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova, Italy
8Immunology Research Area, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma, Italy
*These authors have contributed equally to this work
Anna Corcione, email: [email protected]
Keywords: Hodgkin lymphoma, IL-31, TSLP, cytokine receptors, PET
Received: December 20, 2016 Accepted: May 21, 2017 Published: July 28, 2017
Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) is a tumor of B-cell origin characterized by Hodgkin and Reed-Stenberg (H/RS) cells embedded in an inflammatory tissue where numerous cytokines/chemokines contribute to shape the microenvironment, leading to the typical clinical symptoms.
We investigated: i) the expression of Interleukin-IL-31 (IL-31) and Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP), two Th2-related cytokines with tumor-promoting and pruritogenic functions, and of the respective receptors in HL invaded lymph nodes by flow cytometry, and ii) the potential association of IL-31/TSLP plasma concentrations with clinical characteristics by ELISA.
H/RS cells and the major immune cell types infiltrating HL lymph nodes expressed intracytoplasmic and surface IL-31/TSLP, and their receptors. A subgroup of patients showing at diagnosis elevated IL-31 and TSLP plasma levels had an International Prognostic Score>2, indicative of high risk of relapse, and a subsequent positive interim PET-scan, indicative of insufficient response to chemotherapy. No correlation was found between IL-31/TSLP plasma levels and overall or event-free survival.
In conclusion, IL-31/TSLP and their receptors are expressed in HL cells and in immune cells infiltrating affected lymph nodes, where both cytokines may contribute to local immune suppression. The clinical impact of IL-31 and TSLP plasma levels has to be further defined in larger patient cohorts.
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