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Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Dec;18(6):665-9. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

TIM-3 in autoimmunity.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-3 is a molecule expressed on terminally differentiated murine Th1 cells but not on Th2 cells. Identification of galectin-9 as a ligand for TIM-3 has now firmly established the TIM-3-galectin-9 pathway as an important regulator of Th1 immunity and tolerance induction. TIM-3 is similarly expressed on human Th1 cells and not on Th2 cells, which suggests that TIM-3 might also contribute to Th1 regulation in humans. In addition, genetic data associate the TIM locus and specific TIM-3 polymorphisms with various immune-mediated diseases. Most importantly, recent data suggest a novel paradigm in which dysregulation of the TIM-3-galectin-9 pathway could underlie chronic autoimmune disease states, such as multiple sclerosis.

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