Author(s): Wei F, Zhong S, Ma Z, Kong H, Medvec A
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High surface expression of programmed death 1 (PD-1) is associated with T-cell exhaustion; however, the relationship between PD-1 expression and T-cell dysfunction has not been delineated. We developed a model to study PD-1 signaling in primary human T cells to study how PD-1 expression affected T-cell function. By determining the number of T-cell receptor/peptide-MHC complexes needed to initiate a Ca(2+) flux, we found that PD-1 ligation dramatically shifts the dose-response curve, making T cells much less sensitive to T-cell receptor-generated signals. Importantly, other T-cell functions were differentially sensitive to PD-1 expression. We observed that high levels of PD-1 expression were required to inhibit macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta production, lower levels were required to block cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production, and very low levels of PD-1 expression could inhibit TNF-α and IL-2 production as well as T-cell expansion. These findings provide insight into the role of PD-1 expression in enforcing T-cell exhaustion and the therapeutic potential of PD-1 blockade.
This article was published in ProcNatlAcadSci U S A
and referenced in Immunotherapy: Open Access