gms | German Medical Science

60th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Benelux countries and Bulgaria

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

24 - 27 May 2009, Münster

Recent findings in immune monitoring for HGG patients treated with autologous DC vaccination: CD127 expression inversely correlates with Foxp3 and suppressive function of CD4+ Treg cells

Meeting Abstract

  • H. Ardon - Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • W. Maes - Laboratory of Experimental Immunology, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • T. Beez - Institute for Transplantation Diagnostics and Cell Therapeutics, University Hospitals Heinrich Heine, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • S. Van Gool - Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • S. De Vleeschouwer - Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 60. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit den Benelux-Ländern und Bulgarien. Münster, 24.-27.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. DocP06-06

doi: 10.3205/09dgnc310, urn:nbn:de:0183-09dgnc3109

Published: May 20, 2009

© 2009 Ardon et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: We have successfully treated over two hundred high-grade glioma (HGG) patients with adjuvant immunotherapy consisting of vaccination with autologous dendritic cells (DC) loaded with autologous tumor lysate. It has recently been shown that regulatory T cells (Treg) play an important role in tumor immunology, counteracting anti-tumor immune responses. Up till now, the best marker for these Treg cells is a unique transcription factor, termed Foxp3. The aim of the present pilot study was (I) to check the correlation between low expression of the IL-7 receptor alpha subunit (CD127) and expression of Foxp3 on CD4+CD25+ Treg cells and (ii) to confirm the suppressive function of CD4+CD127dim cells.

Methods: (a) CD127 surface staining and intracellular Foxp3 staining were performed on CD4+CD25+ lymphocytes, obtained from patients’ blood samples. (b) Suppression by CD4+CD127dim cells was assessed in an allogeneic mixed lymphocyte response (MLR).

Results: (I) CD127 surface staining showed two distinct populations of CD4+CD25+ cells: CD127dim expressing cells staining positive for the Treg marker Foxp3 and CD127+ cells staining negative for Foxp3. We found a significant positive correlation between Foxp3 expression and CD127dim expression in the CD4+CD25+ population. (ii) CD4+CD127dim cells were suppressive in an allogeneic MLR in concordance with Treg function.

Conclusions: These data confirm that CD127dim expression can be used as a marker of Treg cells in HGG patients. Compared to intracellular Foxp3 staining, CD127 surface staining is an easy way to monitor Treg cells and this will now be routinely used in the immune monitoring of HGG patients treated with autologous DC vaccination.