Immunohistochemical detection of major histocompatibility complex antigens and quantitative analysis of tumour-infiltrating mononuclear cells in renal cell cancer

Abstract

In order to investigate the anti-tumour immune responsiveness of patients with renal cell cancer (RCC), we examined 30 such patients for the degree of expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II antigens on RCC and the populations of tumour-infiltrating mononuclear cells (TIM). Normal renal tubular cells expressed class I but not class II antigens. Most of the tumour cells expressed class I antigens in 25 (83%) cases, but the proportion of such cells was reduced in five cases, three of which were of granular cell type histologically. Class II antigens were detected in all specimens with class I positivity. Various numbers of TIM were detected in 25 cases, being composed mainly of T cells and a smaller number of macrophages. Examination for the phenotype of T cells showed that CD8-positive cells were the dominant population. B cells were not detected. Quantitative analysis revealed that the numbers of TIM were significantly lower in cases showing class I reduction than in those with normal class I expression. Therefore, it was clear that class I antigens were preserved in RCC cells in most cases. Furthermore, a higher rate of reduction of class I antigens was observed in cases of granular cell type, which has been reported to have a worse prognosis than the clear cell type. The present data suggest that degree of the expression of MHC class I antigen on RCC might influence the host immune responsiveness against it.

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Tomita, Y., Nishiyama, T., Fujiwara, M. et al. Immunohistochemical detection of major histocompatibility complex antigens and quantitative analysis of tumour-infiltrating mononuclear cells in renal cell cancer. Br J Cancer 62, 354–359 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1990.296

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