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The Th17/Treg balance and the expression of related cytokines in Uygur cervical cancer patients

Zhifang Chen12, Jianbing Ding3, Nannan Pang1, Rong Du1, Wei Meng1, Yuejie Zhu1, Yi Zhang2, Cailing Ma1 and Yan Ding1*

Author Affiliations

1 Gynecology Department, First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Xinjiang 830054, P. R. China

2 Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410000, P. R. China

3 Xinjiang Medical University, Department of Immunology, Xinjiang 830054, P. R. China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:61  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-61

Published: 15 April 2013



The fine balance of Th17/Treg is crucial for maintenance of immune homeostasis. The objective of this study was to investigate the balance of Th17/Treg and the expression of related cytokines in Uighur cervical cancer patients.


Peripheral blood was collected from 65 cases of cervical cancer patients, 42 cases of cervical CIN patients and 40 healthy people. Flow cytometry was used to detect the percentages of T cell subsets, including CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, Treg cells and Th17 cells. ELISA assay was conducted to detect expression levels of TGF-β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17, IL-23 and IFN-γ.


There were no significant difference in the levels of CD3+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ among the cervical cancer group, the CIN group and the healthy control group. However, compared with the healthy control group, the percentages of CD4+ CD25+ Treg, CD4+CD25+CD127- Treg, CD4+IL17+ Th17, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+, CD4+CD25- Foxp3+, CD8+CD25+CD127-Treg and CD8+CD25+Foxp3 were significantly higher in the cervical cancer group and the CIN group. Similar results were also found in the Th17/Treg ratio and the related cytokines. There was no significant difference between the cervical cancer group and the CIN group. Additionally, Th17 cell levels were positively correlated with IL-6, IL-23 and IL-17. Also, Treg cell levels were positively correlated with TGF-β, IL-10 and IL-6. Contrarily, Treg cell levels and IFN-γ were negatively correlated.


Our data indicated that the Th17/Treg balance was broken in peripheral blood of cervical cancer patients. Analysis of Th17/Treg balance may have a significant implication in diagnosing cervical cancer.

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Uygur; Cervical cancer; Treg; Th17; Cytokine