Regulatory T cells (Treg) play an important role in constant and inducible control of T cells responses in vitro and in vivo. Treg cell depletion results in the induction of autoimmune pathology and exacerbation of T cells responses to foreign and self-antigens, including heightened anti-tumor responses as well as ablation of transplantation tolerance and rapid graft rejection.
Dartmouth researchers have now found a novel member of the PD-L1 family expressed by Treg cells. This novel protein has been designated PD-L3. Like other members of the PD-L1 family, PD-L3 co-stimulates αCD3 proliferation of T cells in vitro. In addition, the expression of PD-L3 is increased in αCD3-activated Treg and reduced in the presence of αGITR. A second, TNF-like, protein has also been identified as being upregulated upon αCD3/αGITR stimulation. This protein has been designated Treg-sTNF. These proteins may be involved in contact-dependent and paracrine suppression of immunity and can therefore be used to modulate immune responses and treat diseases and conditions involving Treg signaling.
This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 11/912,397. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J269)
Last Updated: 7/24/12