Although regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been detected in clinically apparent and experimentally induced tumors, the significance of their presence is obscured because past studies examined late-stage tumors that had formed in immunocompetent hosts and thus had evolved mechanisms to escape immunologic recognition and/or elimination. Herein, we report the first comparative analysis of the antitumor response to 3′-methylcholanthrene-induced tumors, which either grow progressively (progressor tumors) or are rejected by the immune system (regressor tumors). Surprisingly, we found that both progressor and regressor tumors harbored proliferating (i.e., activated) Foxp3 +CD25+Tregs. However, progressor tumors contained a higher percentage of Tregs in the lymphocyte subset versus regressor tumors. The Tregs in progressor tumors were derived from peripheral CD25 natural Tregs, accumulated early after tumor challenge and were actively proliferating, suggesting that progressor tumors recruited and/or activated endogenous Tregs as a mechanism of escaping immune destruction. To explore whether Tregs directly contributed to the progressive growth phenotype of progressor tumors, we monitored tumor outgrowth in naive wild-type recipients pretreated with either a control monoclonal antibody (mAb) or a depleting CD25-specific mAb. In mice predepleted of CD25+ cells, the tumors that subsequently developed displayed an increased accumulation of proliferating CD8+ T cells and were rejected. These results show that, although Tregs are activated in both regressor and progressor tumors, the ratio of regulatory to effector T cells is critical in determining whether the host successfully rejects the tumor or eventually succumbs to tumor outgrowth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7301-7309
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative analysis of regulatory and effector T cells in progressively growing versus rejecting tumors of similar origins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this