The distribution and function of human memory T cell subsets in lung cancer

Si Yuan Sheng, Yong Gu, Chuan Gang Lu, Jian Yong Zou, Hai Hong, Rong Fu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The distribution and function of T lymphocytes in human lung cancer remain limited. In this study, we investigated the properties of human T cell subsets in the blood of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. We found a relatively normal level of CD4+ subsets in the blood of NSCLC patients, but CD8+ effector T cells increased and CD8+ effector memory cells declined compared to the healthy donors. To further analyze their properties, we stimulated the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of NSCLC patients by mitogens to examine cytokine production. Our data suggest that both CD4+ and CD8+ naïve cells in NSCLC patients significantly reduced IFN-γ and TNF-α production. Additionally, fewer CD8+ effector cells produced IFN-γ and TNF-α in NSCLC patients than in healthy subjects. Moreover, similar results were observed for CD4+ or CD8+ memory cells in NSCLC patients for the production of IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17. Therefore, our results strongly suggest that the function of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in NSCLC patients is compromised or dysregulated. The development of vaccines and antitumor immunotherapy may be essential for the treatment of lung cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalImmunologic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Human memory T cell
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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