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Eur J Immunol. 2006 May;36(5):1104-13.

No evidence for dualism in function and receptors: PD-L2/B7-DC is an inhibitory regulator of human T cell activation.

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Institute of Immunology, Center for Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


The B7 family member programmed-death-1-ligand 2 (PD-L2/B7-DC) is a ligand for programmed-death-receptor 1 (PD-1), a receptor involved in negative regulation of T cell activation. Several independent studies have reported that PD-L2, however, can also potently costimulate murine T cells via an additional yet unidentified receptor. In this study, we evaluated the contribution of PD-L2 to the activation of human T cells using a novel system of engineered T cell stimulators that expresses membrane-bound anti-CD3 antibodies. Analyzing early activation markers, cytokine production and proliferation, we found PD-L2 to consistently inhibit T cell activation. PD-L2 inhibition affected CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and was not abrogated by costimulation via CD28. Blocking PD-1 reverted the inhibitory effect of PD-L2, demonstrating involvement of this pathway. In human T cells, we found no evidence for any of the costimulatory effects described for PD-L2 in murine systems. In line with our functional data that do not point to stimulatory PD-L2-ligands, we show that binding of PD-L2-immunoglobulin to activated human T cells is abrogated by PD-1 antibodies. Our results demonstrate that PD-L2 negatively regulates human T cell activation and thus might be a candidate molecule for immunotherapeutic approaches aimed to attenuate pathological immune responses.

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