Virus-specific T cell-mediated immunity is severely impaired in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) patients. HBV-specific T cells in chronic HBV patients show a low ability to produce cytokines and to exert their cytotoxic activity. A prominent characteristic of these exhausted T cells is overexpression of inhibitory receptor molecules which negatively regulate T cell function. In this study, we examined in vitro regulation of two inhibitory receptor expressions, programmed death 1 (PD-1) and T cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-containing molecule 3 (TIM3). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from healthy individuals were in vitro stimulated with a panel of cytokines. PD-1 and TIM-3 expression levels on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were examined at days 2 and 7 post stimulation. We demonstrated that PD-1 and TIM-3 were induced via polyclonal (anti-CD3) and cytokine (interleukin 15 [IL-15]) stimulations. Noteworthy, there was a significantly increased induction of TIM-3 on CD8+ T cells as compared to CD4+ T cells. Our study thus contributes to further understanding the regulation of T cell exhaustion markers PD-1 and TIM-3.

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American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Hakim, M., Jariah, R.O.A., Spaan, M., & Boonstra, A. (2020). Interleukin 15 upregulates the expression of PD-1 and TIM-3 on CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 9(3), 10–+. Retrieved from