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J Immunol. 2006 Oct 1;177(7):4281-7.

Preferential involvement of Tim-3 in the regulation of hepatic CD8+ T cells in murine acute graft-versus-host disease.

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Department of Molecular Immunology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8549, Japan.


Tim-3, a member of the T cell Ig mucin (TIM) family regulates effector Th1 responses. We examined Tim-3 and its ligand expression as well as the effects of anti-Tim-3 mAb treatment in a murine model of acute graft-vs-host disease (aGVHD). In mice with aGVHD, Tim-3 expression was markedly up-regulated on splenic and hepatic CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and macrophages, and this was especially dramatic in hepatic CD8+ T cells. Both donor- and host-derived CD8+ T cells induced similar levels of Tim-3. Tim-3 ligand expression was also up-regulated in splenic T cells, DCs, and macrophages, but not in the hepatic lymphocytes. The administration of anti-Tim-3 mAbs accelerated aGVHD, as demonstrated by body weight loss, reduction in total splenocyte number, and infiltration of lymphocytes in the liver. IFN-gamma expression by splenic and hepatic CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was significantly augmented by anti-Tim-3 mAb treatment. In addition, the cytotoxicity against host alloantigen by donor CD8+ T cells was enhanced. These results demonstrate that the anti-Tim-3 treatment in aGVHD augmented the activation of effector T cells expressing IFN-gamma or exerting cytotoxicity. Our results suggest that Tim-3 may play a crucial role in the regulation of CD8+ T cells responsible for the maintenance of hepatic homeostasis and tolerance.

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