PloS one 2018 04 0413(4) e0194594 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0194594
One histopathological characteristic of intracranial germinoma is abundant tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) showing a two-cell pattern with large undifferentiated tumor cells. The programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death 1 ligand (PD-L) axis has recently been recognized as an anti-tumor immune system. To evaluate intratumor immune status in intracranial germinoma, we examined expressions of PD-1 and PD-L1 (clone 28-8) and subtypes of TILs. Expressions of PD-1 and PD-L1 were detected immunohistochemically in 25 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor specimens from 24 patients with intracranial germinoma consisting of 22 primary and 3 recurrent tumors. To evaluate subtypes of TILs, quantification of lymphocytes with CD3, CD8, CD4, and Foxp3 was performed. Statistical analyses were performed among PD-1, PD-L1 and subtypes of TILs. In 25 tumor tissue, expressions of PD-1 in TILs and PD-L1 in tumor cells were identified in 96% (24/25) and 92% (23/25), respectively. Expression of PD-1 was associated with CD3+ TIL density. Expression of PD-1 correlated with Foxp3+ TIL density and CD8+ TIL density, but not with CD4+ TIL density. Furthermore, expression of PD-1 correlated strongly with Foxp3+/CD4+ ratio. Taken together, increase of PD-1+ expression is associated with accumulation of Foxp3+ and CD8+ TILs. These findings intimate that PD-1/PD-L1 axis might shape the immune infiltration suggesting a modulation of the immune response and subsequent tumor growth in intracranial germinoma. Anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 are potential immune therapeutic strategies in intracranial germinoma.