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Eur J Immunol. 2007 Oct;37(10):2983-90.

Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 are required for allograft tolerance.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Joseph Stokes Jr Research Institute and Biesecker Pediatric Liver Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4318, USA.


Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1, CD279) and its widely expressed, inducible ligand, PD-L1 (CD274), together dampen T cell activation, but whether they are essential for allograft tolerance is unknown. We show, using gene-deficient mice and blocking mAbs in wild-type mice, that costimulation blockade is ineffectual in PD-1(-/-) or PD-L1(-/-) allograft recipients, or in wild-type allograft recipients treated with anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 mAb. Alloreactive PD-1(-/-) CD4 and CD8 T cells had enhanced proliferation and cytokine production compared to wild-type controls, and anergy could not be induced in PD-1-deficient CD4 T cells. We conclude that without inhibitory signals from PD-1 ligation, alloantigen-induced T cell proliferation and expansion cannot be regulated by costimulation blockade, and peripheral tolerance induction cannot occur.

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