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Analysis of CD8+ and CD4+ Cells in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Their Association With Lymph Node Metastasis and Histologic Grade of Malignancy

Santos Pereira, Joabe dos DDS, MSc, PhD; da Costa Miguel, Márcia Cristina DDS, MSc, PhD; Guedes Queiroz, Lélia Maria DDS, MSc, PhD; da Silveira, Éricka Janine Dantas DDS, MSc, PhD

Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology: March 2014 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - p 200–205
doi: 10.1097/PAI.0b013e31828df3c9
Research Articles

This study aimed to analyze CD8+ and CD4+ cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma and to correlate it with prognostic indicators. The sample was composed of 50 cases. Clinical data and histologic grade of malignancy were obtained. Specimens were submitted to immunohistochemistry. Cells were counted in 10 fields at the tumor invasion front and expressed as median. CD8+ cells were more frequent in nonmetastatic lesions (18.5) and in low-grade specimens (18.2) (P<0.05). CD4+ cells were equally distributed in nonmetastatic and metastatic lesions (4.5). In addition, they were slightly more frequent in low-grade lesions (4.7). None of these correlations were significant (P>0.05). CD8+/CD4+ ratio was higher in cases without metastasis (3.57) and in low-grade lesions (3.62) (P>0.05). Probably, CD8+ cells are the most effective and important cells in the host immune responses against oral squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, CD4+ cells could indirectly influence the host protection through regulation of CD8+ recruitment and activation.

Department of Oral Pathology, Oral Pathology Post-Graduation Program, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Éricka Janine Dantas da Silveira, DDS, MSc, PhD, Departamento de Odontologia, Programa de Pós- Graduação em Patologia Oral, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Senador Salgado Filho, 1787, Lagoa Nova, Natal/RN, CEP 59056-000, Brasil (e-mail:

Received January 19, 2013

Accepted February 18, 2013

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.