CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes and NK cells in the stroma of the uterine cervix of women infected with human papillomavirus

Daniella Borges Alves Inês Aparecida Tozetti Flávia Almeida Gatto Fernanda Cassandri Alda Maria Teixeira Ferreira Fernandes Carlos Eurico dos Santos Gustavo Ribeiro Falcão Ilzia Doraci Lins Scapulatempo Cacilda Tezelli Junqueira Padovani Maria Auxiliadora Gomes Sandim Abdo About the authors

INTRODUCTION: Immune response might be a key element regarding the progression or regression of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the stroma of the uterine cervix. This study aimed to quantify the presence of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes and NK cells in the cervical stroma, by means of immunohistochemistry, in high and low grade lesions in patients infected by HPV METHODS: Fifty-six biopsy samples from the uterine cervix were used. Forty-three samples were positive for oncogenic high-risk HPV DNA and had a histopathological diagnosis of high and low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or negative for intraepithelial lesion and malignancy (NILM); while the other 13 samples were negative for HPV DNA with a histopathological diagnosis of NILM RESULTS: Higher quantities of CD4 T lymphocytes were observed in CIN II/III, carcinoma and NILM samples (p = 0.04) and in those in which the viral load was between 10 and 1.000 RLU/PCB. CD8 T lymphocytes were predominant in CIN II/III samples (p = 0.02) and also in samples with viral loads between 100 and 1,000 RLU/PCB. NK cells predominated in samples with low-grade lesions and low viral load CONCLUSIONS: This study proved that in the initial stages of the infection, in which no high-grade cell abnormalities have yet occurred, no cells that might trigger the effector phase of the immune response.

Human papillomavirus; Immunological response; Immunohistochemistry

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