To cite this article: Singh AK, Stock P, Akbari O. Role of PD-L1 and PD-L2 in allergic diseases and asthma. Allergy 2011; 66: 155–162.
Asthma is the result of chronic airway inflammation associated predominantly with CD4+ cells, eosinophils, mast cells, and basophils. Several T-cells subsets, including NKT cells, play a critical role in orchestrating the inflammation in the airways predominantly, by secreting interleukin-4 and interleukin-13. Recently, programmed death-1 (PD-1) with its ligands, programmed death ligand B7H1 (PD-L1) and B7DC (PD-L2), was shown to regulate T-cell activation and tolerance. PD-1 has been characterized as a negative regulator of conventional CD4+T cells. In addition, the relative roles of PD-L1 and PD-L2 in regulating the activation and function of T cells have recently been characterized. Recent studies have demonstrated that PD-L1 and PD-L2 have important but opposing roles in modulating and polarizing T-cell functions in airway hyperreactivity. Whereas the severity of asthma is greatly enhanced in absence of PD-L2, PD-L1 deficiency resulted in reduced airway hyperresponsiveness and only minimal inflammation. This observation is partially because of the polarization of NKT cells in PD-L1- and PD-L2-deficient mice. This review will discuss the recent literature regarding the role of PD-L1 and PD-L2 in allergic disease and asthma. Current understanding of the role of PD ligands in allergic asthma gives impetus to the development of novel therapeutic approaches.