Tumor Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 929–940 | Cite as

Downregulation of IL-17-producing T cells is associated with regulatory T cell expansion and disease progression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
  • Ali Memarian
  • Hossein Asgarian-Omran
  • Seyed Mohsen Razavi
  • Abdolfattah Sarrafnejad
  • Fazel Shokri
Research Article


Little is known about the immunobiology of interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing T cells and regulatory T cells (Treg) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In this study, the frequencies of Th17, Tc17, and CD39+ Treg cells were enumerated in peripheral T cells isolated from 40 CLL patients and 15 normal subjects by flow cytometry. Our results showed a lower frequency of Th17 and Tc17 cells in progressive (0.99 ± 0.12 % of total CD3+CD4+ cells; 0.44 ± 0.09 % of total CD8+ cells) compared to indolent patients (1.57 ± 0.24 %, p = 0.042; 0.82 ± 0.2 %, p = 0.09) and normal subjects (1.78 ± 0.2 %, p = 0.003; 0.71 ± 0.09 %, p = 0.04). Decrease in IL-17-producing T cells was associated with CD39+ Treg cells expansion. Variation of IL-17-producing cells and Treg cells in indolent and progressive patients was neither associated to the expression levels of Th1- and Th2-specific transcription factors T-bet and GATA-3 nor to the frequencies of IFN-γ and IL-4-producing CD4+ T cells in a selected number of samples. Additionally, suppressive potential of CD4+ Treg was similar in CLL patients and normal subjects. Our data indicate that progression of CLL is associated with downregulation of IL-17-producing T cells and expansion of Treg cells, implying contribution of these subsets of T cells in the progression of CLL.


Th17 Tc17 Regulatory T cell Chronic lymphocytic leukemia Interleukin 17 



We would like to thank Mehdi Yousefi, Tahereh Shahrestani, and Bita Ansaripour for their excellent technical support. This study was supported in part by a grant from Tehran University of Medical Sciences (grant number 9879).

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

13277_2012_628_MOESM1_ESM.doc (117 kb)
Table S1 (DOC 117 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh
    • 1
  • Ghasem Ghalamfarsa
    • 1
  • Ali Memarian
    • 2
  • Hossein Asgarian-Omran
    • 1
  • Seyed Mohsen Razavi
    • 3
  • Abdolfattah Sarrafnejad
    • 1
  • Fazel Shokri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Immunology, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Clinic of Hematology and Oncology, Firozgar Hospital, Faculty of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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