Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Tumoral HLA Class I and APM Expression and Its Effect on Intratumoral T-cell Reaction and Outcome in HPV-Negative Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Version 1 : Received: 9 September 2020 / Approved: 10 September 2020 / Online: 10 September 2020 (11:37:28 CEST)

How to cite: Wickenhauser, C.; Bethmann, D.; Kappler, M.; Eckert, A.W.; Steven, A.; Bukur, J.; Fox, B.A.; Beer, J.; Seliger, B. Tumoral HLA Class I and APM Expression and Its Effect on Intratumoral T-cell Reaction and Outcome in HPV-Negative Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Preprints 2020, 2020090238 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0238.v1). Wickenhauser, C.; Bethmann, D.; Kappler, M.; Eckert, A.W.; Steven, A.; Bukur, J.; Fox, B.A.; Beer, J.; Seliger, B. Tumoral HLA Class I and APM Expression and Its Effect on Intratumoral T-cell Reaction and Outcome in HPV-Negative Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Preprints 2020, 2020090238 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0238.v1).

Abstract

Progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has been associated with an escape of tumor cells from the host immune surveillance with growing evidence of its underlying molecular mechanisms and its interaction with the immune cell control. In this study the expression of HLA class I (HLA-I) antigens and of components of the antigen processing machinery (APM) was analyzed in 160 consecutive human papilloma virus (HPV)-negative OSCC lesions and correlated to tumor specific parameters, the intratumoral immune cell response and to the patients outcome. A heterogeneous, but predominantly lower constitutive protein expression of HLA-I APM components was seen in OSCC sections when compared to non-neoplastic cells. Based on the expression levels of HLA-I APM components three main OSCC subgroups were detected and categorized into HLA-Ihigh/APMhigh, HLA-Ilow/APMlow and HLA-Idiscordant high/low/APMhigh phenotypes. In the HLA-Ihigh/APMhigh group, the highest frequency of intratumoral CD8+ T cells and lowest number of CD8+ T cells close to FoxP3 cells was found. Despite being associated with the highest T cell infiltration, patients within this group presented the most unfavorable survival, which was most evident in stage T2 tumors. Thus, the presented findings strongly indicate the presence of additional factors involved in the immunomodulatory process of HPV-negative OSCC with a possible tumor-burden-dependent complex network of immune escape mechanisms beyond HLA-I/APM components and T cell infiltration in this tumor entity.

Subject Areas

oral squamous cell carcinoma; HLA class I; antigen processing machinery; immune cell infiltration; immune escape; prognosis

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