Therapeutic strategies for the costimulatory molecule OX40 in T-cell-mediated immunity

Acta Pharm Sin B. 2020 Mar;10(3):414-433. doi: 10.1016/j.apsb.2019.08.010. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


The T cell co-stimulatory molecule OX40 and its cognate ligand OX40L have attracted broad research interest as a therapeutic target in T cell-mediated diseases. Accumulating preclinical evidence highlights the therapeutic efficacy of both agonist and blockade of the OX40-OX40L interaction. Despite this progress, many questions about the immuno-modulator roles of OX40 on T cell function remain unanswered. In this review we summarize the impact of the OX40-OX40L interaction on T cell subsets, including Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, Th22, Treg, Tfh, and CD8+ T cells, to gain a comprehensive understanding of anti-OX40 mAb-based therapies. The potential therapeutic application of the OX40-OX40L interaction in autoimmunity diseases and cancer immunotherapy are further discussed; OX40-OX40L blockade may ameliorate autoantigen-specific T cell responses and reduce immune activity in autoimmunity diseases. We also explore the rationale of targeting OX40-OX40L interactions in cancer immunotherapy. Ligation of OX40 with targeted agonist anti-OX40 mAbs conveys activating signals to T cells. When combined with other therapeutic treatments, such as anti-PD-1 or anti-CTLA-4 blockade, cytokines, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, the anti-tumor activity of agonist anti-OX40 treatment will be further enhanced. These data collectively suggest great potential for OX40-mediated therapies.

Keywords: Autoimmunity diseases; CD4+; CD8+; Cancer immunotherapy; OX40; Treg.

Publication types

  • Review