Oncology letters

Disrupted fibroblastic reticular cells and interleukin-7 expression in tumor draining lymph nodes.

PMID 28928833


The immune system of patients with cancer is usually in an inhibitory state. Lymph node (LN) draining of pathological sites provides a suitable microenvironment where adaptive immune responses mainly occur. However, the microenvironment in the tumor draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) of patients with cancer appears to be in favor of tolerance. The effects of tumor cells on TDLNs have not been elaborated clearly. The present results have indicated that tumor cells may directly affect TDLNs by decreasing the fibroblastic reticular cell population that led to less interleukin-7 secretion. As a result, the number of T cells in TDLNs declined with reduced survival signals. A decreased number of T cells in TDLNs means weakened ability of immune surveillance. Clinically, these results were also confirmed in LN biopsies from patients with colon cancer at different clinical stages. Results of the present study showed that tumor cells may directly inhibit the immunological function of TDLNs.