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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jun 16;344(4):1121-7. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

Expression and function of the B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA/CD272) on human T cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8549, Japan.


Co-signal receptors provide crucial activating or attenuating signals for T cells. The B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA/CD272) is a third member of co-inhibitory receptors, which belongs to the CD28 immunoglobulin-superfamily. Using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against human BTLA, we show that BTLA is constitutively expressed on most CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and its expression progressively decreases upon T cell activation. Polarized Th1 and Th2 cells contained both BTLA-positive and BTLA-negative populations, but the extended culture diminished BTLA expression. Cross-linking BTLA with an agonistic mAb inhibited T cell proliferation and the production of the cytokines IFN-gamma and IL-10 in response to anti-CD3 stimulation. BTLA-mediated inhibition of T cell activation occurred during both primary CD4+ T cell responses and secondary CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses, suggesting that BTLA ligation sends a constitutive "off" signal to T cells and thus might play an important role in the maintenance of T cell tolerance.

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