Reviving exhausted T lymphocytes during chronic virus infection by B7-H1 blockade

Trends Mol Med. 2006 Jun;12(6):244-6. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2006.04.007. Epub 2006 May 2.


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are killer cells that are crucial in the control of viral pathogens and cancers. They can become exhausted during chronic viral infection, a phenomenon that consists of a reduction in both number and functionality of CTLs. Recently, Barber and colleagues demonstrated that B7-H1 (also called PD-L1), a cell-surface molecule that is widely distributed in tissues, was necessary for the maintenance of T-cell exhaustion in a chronic-infection mouse model of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). PD-1, the receptor of B7-H1, was greatly upregulated on CTLs in response to LCMV, and its expression was maintained during chronic infection. Blockade of the B7-H1-PD-1 pathway by a monoclonal antibody restored CTL function and reduced viral burden. These results suggest a new strategy for the treatment of chronic viral infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • B7-1 Antigen / genetics
  • B7-1 Antigen / immunology
  • B7-1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chronic Disease
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / genetics
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / metabolism
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Cd274 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pdcd1 protein, mouse
  • Peptides
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor