The cellullar immune response is important in the containment of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). We examined program cell death-1 (PD-1) expression, a marker of cellular immune exhaustion, on T lymphocytes in PML. PD-1 expression was elevated on total CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells (medians 36% and 24%) in PML patients compared with healthy control subjects (medians 14% and 18%; P = 0.0015 and P = 0.033). In PML patients, JC virus (JCV)-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes expressed PD-1 more frequently than total CD8 T lymphocytes (means 39% and 78%, P = 0.0004). Blocking the PD-1 receptor increased JCV-specific T-cell immune response in a subgroup of PML patients.