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Nat Immunol. 2007 Mar;8(3):239-45.

The function of programmed cell death 1 and its ligands in regulating autoimmunity and infection.

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) surface receptor binds to two ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Studies have shown that PD-1-PD-L interactions control the induction and maintenance of peripheral T cell tolerance and indicate a previously unknown function for PD-L1 on nonhematopoietic cells in protecting tissues from autoimmune attack. PD-1 and its ligands have also been exploited by a variety of microorganisms to attenuate antimicrobial immunity and facilitate chronic infection. Here we examine the functions of PD-1 and its ligands in regulating antimicrobial and self-reactive T cell responses and discuss the therapeutic potential of manipulating this pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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