Mucosal immune environment in colonic carcinogenesis: CD80 up-regulation in colonic dysplasia in ulcerative colitis

Marco Scarpa, Marina Bortolami, Attilio Cecchetto, Diego Faggian, Andromachi Kotsafti, Cesare Ruffolo, Filippo Navaglia, Anna Pozza, Renata D'Inc, Mario Plebani, Giacomo C. Sturniolo, Imerio Angriman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) the inconsistency between the rate of dysplasia and actual cancer incidence suggests the presence of an immunosurveillance mechanism. The aim of our study was to analyse the expression of CD80 and CD86 during the different stages of UC-associated and in non-inflammatory carcinogenesis. Patients and methods: Sixty-two patients affected with UC, UC with colonic dysplasia, UC and cancer, colonic adenoma, or colonic cancer and 11 healthy subjects were enroled in our study. Tissue samples were taken from surgical specimens during colonic resection or during colonoscopy. Mucosal mRNA expression of CD80 and CD86 was quantified with real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). CD80, CD86 and p53 expressions and lamina propria mononuclear cell populations (CD3, CD20 and CD68) were analysed by immunohistochemistry. Mucosal levels of IL-1β, IL-2 and IFN-γ were measured with immunometric assays. Results: Among UC patients, CD80 protein expression was higher in those with dysplasia (p = 0.017). In non-inflammatory carcinogenesis pathway CD80 protein and mRNA expressions were lower compared to the corresponding steps in the UC pathway. CD80 expression was directly correlated with the lamina propria mononuclear cell populations (T and B lymphocytes and monocytes). CD80 protein, but not CD80 mRNA, expression was significantly and directly correlated with IL-2 expression. Conclusion: CD80 resulted to be up-regulated in UC with dysplasia, while it was down-regulated in cancer. CD80 mucosal levels correlate with lamina propria T-cell and with IL-2 expression suggesting that it may elicit an active role in the immunosurveillance mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-619
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Colonic carcinogenesis
  • Costimulatory molecules
  • Immunosurveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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