1. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
2. Key Laboratory for Translational Research and Innovative Therapeutics of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Hongqiao International Institute of Medicine, Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
3. Shanghai 10th people's hospital affiliated to Tong Ji University school of medicine, Shanghai, China.
4. Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine (Ministry of Education), Shanghai Centre for Systems Biomedicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
5. Immunoassay Laboratory, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China.
6. Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
* These authors have contributed equally to this work and share the first authorship.
Although B lymphocytes are widely known to participate in the immune response, the conclusive roles of B lymphocyte subsets in the antitumor immune response have not yet been determined. Single-cell data from GEO datasets were first analyzed, and then a B cell flow cytometry panel was used to analyze the peripheral blood of 89 HCC patients and 33 healthy controls recruited to participate in our research. Patients with HCC had a higher frequency of B10 cells and a lower percentage of MZB cells than healthy controls. And the changes in B cell subsets might occur at an early stage. Moreover, the frequency of B10 cells decreased after surgery. Positively correlated with B10 cells, the elevated IL-10 level in HCC serum may be a new biomarker in HCC identification. For the first time, our results suggest that altered B cell subsets are associated with the development and prognosis of HCC. Increased B10 cell percentage and IL-10 in HCC patients suggest they might augment the development of liver tumors. Hence, B cell subsets and related cytokines may have predictive value in HCC patients and could be potential targets for immunotherapy in HCC.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Interleukin-10-producing regulatory B cells, Marginal zone B cells, Follicular B cells, IL-10.