Author(s): Zhu C, Anderson AC, Kuchroo VK
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Abstract T cell immunoglobulin mucin-(TIM)-3 was first identified as a molecule specifically expressed on IFN-γ-secreting CD4(+) T helper 1 (Th1) and CD8(+) T cytotoxic (Tc1) cells in both mice and humans. TIM-3 acts as a negative regulator of Th1/Tc1 cell function by triggering cell death upon interaction with its ligand, galectin-9. This negative regulatory function of TIM-3 has now been expanded to include its involvement in establishing and/or maintaining a state of T cell dysfunction or "exhaustion" observed in chronic viral diseases. In addition, it is now appreciated that TIM-3 has other ligands and is expressed on other cell types, where it may function differently. Given that an increasing body of data support an important role for TIM-3 in both autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases in humans, deciphering the function of TIM-3 on different cell types during different immune conditions and how these can be regulated will be critical for harnessing the therapeutic potential of TIM-3 for the treatment of disease.
This article was published in Curr Top Microbiol Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology