This study is to investigate the association between the Treg/Th17 cells and prognosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).Methods
Totally 50 CLL patients and 20 Health controls were included in this study. Regulatory T (Treg) cells and the cell subset secreting IL-17 (Th17) in peripheral blood were detected with flow cytometry. Serum levels of IL-10 and IL-17 were determined with ELISA, and expression of Foxp3 and RORγt was assessed with quantitative real-time PCR.Results
Treg and Th17 cell proportions in peripheral blood in the CLL patients were significantly higher than control. Serum levels of IL-10 and IL-17, and expression of Foxp3 and RORγt, were significantly increased in the CLL patients. Ratios of Treg/Th17 and IL-10/IL-17 were significantly elevated in the CLL patients. Compared with those before treatment, Treg/Th17 and IL-10/IL-17 ratios were declined in the CLL patients in remission. Compared with the non-remission group, Treg cells were significantly decreased, while Th17 cells were significantly increased, resulting in decreased Treg/Th17 ratio, in the remission group. Moreover, the serum IL-10 level was significantly decreased, while the serum IL-17 level was significantly increased, resulting in declined IL-10/IL-17 ratio, in the remission group. Correlation analysis showed that, Treg and Th17 cell counts were significantly associated with CD38 and ZAP-70 expression in the CLL patients. Moreover, the IL-10/IL-17 ratio was also significantly associated with CLL prognostic factors.Conclusion
Altered Treg/Th17 and IL-10/IL-17 ratios in CLL would be aggravated along with the disease progression, which might be used as indicators for the disease prognosis.