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Open Access Research

Inhibitory receptor immunoglobulin-like transcript 4 was highly expressed in primary ductal and lobular breast cancer and significantly correlated with IL-10

Jie Liu1, Linlin Wang1, Wei Gao1, Liwen Li2, Xia Cui1, Hongyan Yang1, Wenli Lin1, Qi Dang1, Nan Zhang1 and Yuping Sun1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncology, Jinan Central Hospital, Shandong University, No.105, Jie Fang Road, Jinan, Shandong 250013, PR, China

2 Department of Pediatric Oncology, Jinan Central Hospital, Shandong University, No.105, Jie Fang Road, Jinan, Shandong 250013, PR, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:85  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-85

Published: 24 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Immunoglobulin-like transcript 4 (ILT4) is an inhibitory molecule involved in immune response and has recently been identified to be strongly inducible by IL-10. The aim of the present study was to examine the associations of ILT4 expression with clinicopathological characteristics and IL-10 expression in primary ductal and lobular breast cancer.

Methods

We studied the expression of ILT4 in 4 cancer cell lines, 117 primary tumor tissues and 97 metastatic lymph nodes from patients with primary ductal and lobular breast cancer by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blot or immunohistochemistry analysis. Additionally, IL-10 expression was also investigated using immunohistochemistry in primary tumor tissues. Then the relationship between ILT4 expression and clinicopathological characteristics/IL-10 expression was evaluated.

Results

ILT4 was highly expressed in all 4 human breast cancer cell lines on both mRNA and protein levels. In primary tumor tissues, ILT4 or IL-10 was expressed in the cell membrane, cytoplasm, or both; the positive rate of ILT4 and IL-10 expression was 60.7% (71/117) and 80.34% (94/117), respectively. ILT4 level was significantly correlated with IL-10 (r =0.577; p < 0.01). Furthermore, the expression of ILT4 or IL-10 was associated with less number of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs) (p = 0.004 and 0.018, respectively) and more lymph node metastasis (p = 0.046 and 0.035, respectively).

Conclusion

Our data demonstrated the association of ILT4 and IL-10 expression in human breast cancer, suggesting their important roles in immune dysfunction and lymph node metastases.

Virtual Slides

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1692652692107916 webcite

Keywords:
Immunoglobulin-like transcript 4; Interleukin-10; Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; Immunohistochemistry; Breast cancer