The programmed death (PD)-1/PD-L1 pathway is a well-recognized negative immune checkpoint that results in functional inhibition of T-cells. Microglia, the brain-resident immune cells are vital for pathogen detection and initiation of neuroimmune responses. Moreover, microglial cells and astrocytes govern the activity of brain-infiltrating antiviral T-cells through upregulation of PD-L1 expression. While T-cell suppressive responses within brain are undoubtedly beneficial to the host, preventing cytotoxic damage to this vital organ, establishment of a prolonged anti-inflammatory milieu may simultaneously lead to deficiencies in viral clearance. An immune checkpoint blockade targeting the PD-1: PD-L1 (B7-H1; CD274) axis has revolutionized contemporary treatment for a variety of cancers. However, the therapeutic potential of PD1: PD-L1 blockade therapies targeting viral brain reservoirs remains to be determined. For these reasons, it is key to understand both the detrimental and protective functions of this signaling pathway within the brain. This review highlights how glial cells use PD-L1 expression to modulate T-cell effector function and limit detrimental bystander damage, while still retaining an effective defense of the brain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by National Institute of Mental Health, grant number: MH-066703 and National Institute of Neurological Diseases and stroke, grant number: NS-038836.
Funding: This research was funded by National Institute of Mental Health, grant number: MH-066703 and National Institute of Neurological Diseases and stroke, grant number: NS-038836.
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- central nervous system
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article