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      PD-L1 regulates the development, maintenance, and function of induced regulatory T cells


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          Both the programmed death (PD) 1–PD-ligand (PD-L) pathway and regulatory T (T reg) cells are instrumental to the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. We demonstrate that PD-L1 has a pivotal role in regulating induced T reg (iT reg) cell development and sustaining iT reg cell function. PD-L1 −/− antigen-presenting cells minimally convert naive CD4 T cells to iT reg cells, showing the essential role of PD-L1 for iT reg cell induction. PD-L1–coated beads induce iT reg cells in vitro, indicating that PD-L1 itself regulates iT reg cell development. Furthermore, PD-L1 enhances and sustains Foxp3 expression and the suppressive function of iT reg cells. The obligatory role for PD-L1 in controlling iT reg cell development and function in vivo is illustrated by a marked reduction in iT reg cell conversion and rapid onset of a fatal inflammatory phenotype in PD-L1 −/−PD-L2 −/− Rag −/− recipients of naive CD4 T cells. PD-L1 iT reg cell development is mediated through the down-regulation of phospho-Akt, mTOR, S6, and ERK2 and concomitant with the up-regulation of PTEN, all key signaling molecules which are critical for iT reg cell development. Thus, PD-L1 can inhibit T cell responses by promoting both the induction and maintenance of iT reg cells. These studies define a novel mechanism for iT reg cell development and function, as well as a new strategy for controlling T reg cell plasticity.

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          Involvement of PD-L1 on tumor cells in the escape from host immune system and tumor immunotherapy by PD-L1 blockade.

          PD-1 is a receptor of the Ig superfamily that negatively regulates T cell antigen receptor signaling by interacting with the specific ligands (PD-L) and is suggested to play a role in the maintenance of self-tolerance. In the present study, we examined possible roles of the PD-1/PD-L system in tumor immunity. Transgenic expression of PD-L1, one of the PD-L, in P815 tumor cells rendered them less susceptible to the specific T cell antigen receptor-mediated lysis by cytotoxic T cells in vitro, and markedly enhanced their tumorigenesis and invasiveness in vivo in the syngeneic hosts as compared with the parental tumor cells that lacked endogenous PD-L. Both effects could be reversed by anti-PD-L1 Ab. Survey of murine tumor lines revealed that all of the myeloma cell lines examined naturally expressed PD-L1. Growth of the myeloma cells in normal syngeneic mice was inhibited significantly albeit transiently by the administration of anti-PD-L1 Ab in vivo and was suppressed completely in the syngeneic PD-1-deficient mice. These results suggest that the expression of PD-L1 can serve as a potent mechanism for potentially immunogenic tumors to escape from host immune responses and that blockade of interaction between PD-1 and PD-L may provide a promising strategy for specific tumor immunotherapy.
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            The inhibitory cytokine IL-35 contributes to regulatory T-cell function.

            Regulatory T (T(reg)) cells are a critical sub-population of CD4+ T cells that are essential for maintaining self tolerance and preventing autoimmunity, for limiting chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, and for regulating homeostatic lymphocyte expansion. However, they also suppress natural immune responses to parasites and viruses as well as anti-tumour immunity induced by therapeutic vaccines. Although the manipulation of T(reg) function is an important goal of immunotherapy, the molecules that mediate their suppressive activity remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that Epstein-Barr-virus-induced gene 3 (Ebi3, which encodes IL-27beta) and interleukin-12 alpha (Il12a, which encodes IL-12alpha/p35) are highly expressed by mouse Foxp3+ (forkhead box P3) T(reg) cells but not by resting or activated effector CD4+ T (T(eff)) cells, and that an Ebi3-IL-12alpha heterodimer is constitutively secreted by T(reg) but not T(eff) cells. Both Ebi3 and Il12a messenger RNA are markedly upregulated in T(reg) cells co-cultured with T(eff) cells, thereby boosting Ebi3 and IL-12alpha production in trans. T(reg)-cell restriction of this cytokine occurs because Ebi3 is a downstream target of Foxp3, a transcription factor that is required for T(reg)-cell development and function. Ebi3-/- and Il12a-/- T(reg) cells have significantly reduced regulatory activity in vitro and fail to control homeostatic proliferation and to cure inflammatory bowel disease in vivo. Because these phenotypic characteristics are distinct from those of other IL-12 family members, this novel Ebi3-IL-12alpha heterodimeric cytokine has been designated interleukin-35 (IL-35). Ectopic expression of IL-35 confers regulatory activity on naive T cells, whereas recombinant IL-35 suppresses T-cell proliferation. Taken together, these data identify IL-35 as a novel inhibitory cytokine that may be specifically produced by T(reg) cells and is required for maximal suppressive activity.
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              Regulatory T cell lineage specification by the forkhead transcription factor foxp3.

              Regulatory T cell-mediated dominant tolerance has been demonstrated to play an important role in the prevention of autoimmunity. Here, we present data arguing that the forkhead transcription factor Foxp3 acts as the regulatory T cell lineage specification factor and mediator of the genetic mechanism of dominant tolerance. We show that expression of Foxp3 is highly restricted to the subset alphabeta of T cells and, irrespective of CD25 expression, correlates with suppressor activity. Induction of Foxp3 expression in nonregulatory T cells does not occur during pathogen-driven immune responses, and Foxp3 deficiency does not impact the functional responses of nonregulatory T cells. Furthermore, T cell-specific ablation of Foxp3 is sufficient to induce the identical early onset lymphoproliferative syndrome observed in Foxp3-deficient mice. Analysis of Foxp3 expression during thymic development suggests that this mechanism is not hard-wired but is dependent on TCR/MHC ligand interactions.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                J. Exp. Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                21 December 2009
                : 206
                : 13
                : 3015-3029
                [1 ]Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115
                [2 ]Department of Pathology and [3 ]Center for Neurological Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115
                [4 ]Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
                [5 ]Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDENCE Arlene H. Sharpe: arlene_sharpe@ 123456hms.harvard.edu
                © 2009 Francisco et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.jem.org/misc/terms.shtml). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

                : 17 April 2009
                : 12 November 2009



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