Apo2L/TRAIL and immune regulation

Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1:12:2074-84. doi: 10.2741/2212.


Apo2L/TRAIL is a member of the TNF family, with its receptors DR4 and DR5 containing a death domain. Multiple tumors are sensitive to Apo2L/TRAIL-induced apoptosis, while normal cells are not, so it constitutes a promising new antitumoral therapy. In this review we deal rather with the physiological role of Apo2L/TRAIL, which, in one hand, is clearly related with immune antitumoral surveillance. However, a role of Apo2L/TRAIL as a fine-tuning regulator of the immune system, especially in the regulation of CD8+ T cell activation and memory, has been also demonstrated. In fact, Apo2L/TRAIL can be considered as an additional mechanism needed to prevent the development of autoimmune disease. Indeed, recent developments indicate that Apo2L/TRAIL can be also useful as a treatment against certain chronic autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / physiology*


  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand