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J Clin Invest. 2008 Feb;118(2):735-41.

Immunostimulatory Tim-1-specific antibody deprograms Tregs and prevents transplant tolerance in mice.

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Division of Transplant Immunology and Transplant Research Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


T cell Ig mucin (Tim) molecules modulate CD4(+) T cell responses. In keeping with the view that Tim-1 generates a stimulatory signal for CD4(+) T cell activation, we hypothesized that an agonist Tim-1-specific mAb would intensify the CD4(+) T cell-dependant allograft response. Unexpectedly, we determined that a particular Tim-1-specific mAb exerted reciprocal effects upon the commitment of alloactivated T cells to regulatory and effector phenotypes. Commitment to the Th1 and Th17 phenotypes was fostered, whereas commitment to the Treg phenotype was hindered. Moreover, ligation of Tim-1 in vitro effectively deprogrammed Tregs and thus produced Tregs unable to control T cell responses. Overall, the effects of the agonist Tim-1-specific mAb on the allograft response stemmed from enhanced expansion and survival of T effector cells; a capacity to deprogram natural Tregs; and inhibition of the conversion of naive CD4(+) T cells into Tregs. The reciprocal effects of agonist Tim-1-specific mAbs upon effector T cells and Tregs serve to prevent allogeneic transplant tolerance.

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