TIM-3 in autoimmunity

Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Dec;18(6):665-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2006.09.009. Epub 2006 Oct 2.


T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-3 is a molecule expressed on terminally differentiated murine Th1 cells but not on Th2 cells. Identification of galectin-9 as a ligand for TIM-3 has now firmly established the TIM-3-galectin-9 pathway as an important regulator of Th1 immunity and tolerance induction. TIM-3 is similarly expressed on human Th1 cells and not on Th2 cells, which suggests that TIM-3 might also contribute to Th1 regulation in humans. In addition, genetic data associate the TIM locus and specific TIM-3 polymorphisms with various immune-mediated diseases. Most importantly, recent data suggest a novel paradigm in which dysregulation of the TIM-3-galectin-9 pathway could underlie chronic autoimmune disease states, such as multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Galectins / immunology
  • Galectins / metabolism
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, Virus / genetics
  • Receptors, Virus / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*


  • Galectins
  • HAVCR2 protein, human
  • Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2
  • LGALS9 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus