Objective: The aim of this study was to assess and quantify the cytokine messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in ovarian tissue from women with epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC), and as controls ovarian tissue from women with benign conditions was used. Furthermore peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from the same patients were analyzed.
Materials and Methods: The cytokine mRNA expression in EOC type II tissue and controls, as well as PBMCs from all women was investigated with a panel of cytokine primers and probes selected to distinguish between T helper (Th)1, Th2, Th17, Th3 and regulatory T-cells (Tr1) type of immune response using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR).
Results: Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α as well as IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-b are more abundant in ovarian cancer tissue than in controls, indicating an inflammatory and immunosuppressive response, respectively. The difference in mRNA expression between peripheral blood and tissue from the ovarian cancer patients is lesser than that of the controls, suggesting a suppressed systemic immune response.
Conclusion: The results indicate that EOC patients has an inflammatory and immunosuppressive, regulatory cytokine response in the tumor microenvironment. The expression ratio of PBMCs and tissue is lower in the EOC patients compared to controls, suggesting a suppressed systemic cytokine expression and reduced ability to recruit, and stimulate the maturation of cytotoxic cells.
Key words: cytokine, epithelial ovarian carcinoma, RT-PCR, mRNA expression.