The function of programmed cell death 1 and its ligands in regulating autoimmunity and infection.

Date Published:

2007 Mar


The programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) surface receptor binds to two ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Studies have shown that PD-1-PD-L interactions control the induction and maintenance of peripheral T cell tolerance and indicate a previously unknown function for PD-L1 on nonhematopoietic cells in protecting tissues from autoimmune attack. PD-1 and its ligands have also been exploited by a variety of microorganisms to attenuate antimicrobial immunity and facilitate chronic infection. Here we examine the functions of PD-1 and its ligands in regulating antimicrobial and self-reactive T cell responses and discuss the therapeutic potential of manipulating this pathway.