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Nat Immunol. 2013 Dec;14(12):1212-8. doi: 10.1038/ni.2762.

A rheostat for immune responses: the unique properties of PD-1 and their advantages for clinical application.

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Division of Immune Regulation, Institute for Genome Research, University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.


PD-1, a negative coreceptor expressed on antigen-stimulated T cells and B cells, seems to serve as a 'rheostat' of the immune response. The molecular mechanisms of the functions of PD-1, in conjunction with the mild, chronic and strain-specific autoimmune phenotypes of PD-1-deficient mice, in contrast to the devastating fatal autoimmune disease of mice deficient in the immunomodulatory receptor CTLA-4, suggest that immunoregulation by PD-1 is rather antigen specific and is mainly cell intrinsic. Such unique properties make PD-1 a powerful target for immunological therapy, with highly effective clinical applications for cancer treatment.

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