A newly identified costimulatory molecule, programmed death-1 (PD-1), provides a negative signal that is essential for immune homeostasis. However, it has been suggested that its ligands, B7-H1 (PD-L1) and B7-dendritic cells (B7-DC; PD-L2), could also costimulate T cell proliferation and cytokine secretion. Here we demonstrate the involvement of PD-1/B7-H1 and B7-DC interaction in the development of colitis. We first examined the expression profiles of PD-1 and its ligands in both human inflammatory bowel disease and a murine chronic colitis model induced by adoptive transfer of CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells to SCID mice. Second, we assessed the therapeutic potential of neutralizing anti-B7-H1 and/or B7-DC mAbs using this colitis model. We found significantly increased expression of PD-1 on T cells and of B7-H1 on T, B, and macrophage/DCs in inflamed colon from both inflammatory bowel disease patients and colitic mice. Unexpectedly, the administration of anti-B7-H1, but not anti-B7-DC, mAb after transfer of CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells suppressed wasting disease with colitis, abrogated leukocyte infiltration, and reduced the production of IFN-gamma, IL-2, and TNF-alpha, but not IL-4 or IL-10, by lamina propria CD4(+) T cells. These data suggest that the interaction of PD-1/B7-H1, but not PD-1/B7-DC, might be involved in intestinal mucosal inflammation and also show a possible role of interaction between B7-H1 and an as yet unidentified receptor for B7-H1 in inducing T cell activation.