We used a multistage model of SCC to examine the role of Treg cells during tumor development. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]-anthracene/phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate treatment and systemic depletion of Treg cells using an anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody (PC61) resulted in a decrease in the number and incidence of papilloma. Furthermore, CD25 depletion increased the proportion of CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells that were isolated from tumor lesions.
The levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, interferon-γ, transforming growth factor-β and tumor necrosis factor-α, but not IL-17, were increased in the tumor microenvironment after Treg depletion. Therefore, our results indicated involvement of CD25(+) T cells in SCC development and in the suppression of the inflammatory immune response.