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J Immunol. 2013 Oct 1;191(7):3673-80. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300945. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

The CD226/CD155 interaction regulates the proinflammatory (Th1/Th17)/anti-inflammatory (Th2) balance in humans.

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Department of Neurology and Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520.


CD226 costimulatory signals strongly promote Th1 differentiation, enhancing IFN-γ production by naive T cells. We recently reported that knockdown of CD226 on human T cells resulted in a decrease in T-bet and IFN-γ expression. However, the role of CD226 on Th2 and Th17 cells remains unknown. In this study, we found that CD226 and its ligand CD155 were decreased on Th2-polarized naive T cells, whereas both were highly expressed under Th17 conditions. Most IFN-γ- and IL-17-producing cells expressed high levels of CD226, but production of IL-13 did not correlate with CD226 expression. CD226 knockdown by lentiviral transduction resulted in increased STAT-6 phosphorylation, enhanced GATA3 expression, and consequently higher production of IL-4 and IL-13. Under Th17 conditions, CD226-depleted cells showed slightly impaired IL-17 secretion, suggesting that CD226 contributes, in part, to IL-17 production but is dispensable for Th17 cell generation. In line with these results, CD226 blockade with neutralizing Abs efficiently inhibited T cell activation and proliferation and production of IFN-γ and IL-17, whereas IL-13 secretion remained functional. Taken together, our results establish an important role for CD226 in differentially regulating the proinflammatory (Th1/Th17)/anti-inflammatory (Th2) balance, suggesting that the CD226/CD155 interaction could potentially be targeted in therapeutic approaches to human autoimmune diseases.

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