Sakurai Y(1), Usui Y(2), Hattori T(2), Takeuchi M(3), Takayama K(3), Karasawa Y(3), Nishio Y(3), Yamakawa N(2), Saitoh D(4), Goto H(2), Ito M(5). Author information:
(1)Department of Ophthalmology, National Defense Medical College, Saitama,
Japan; Division of Traumatology, Research Institute, National Defense Medical
College, Saitama, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.
(3)Department of Ophthalmology, National Defense Medical College, Saitama,
(4)Division of Traumatology, Research Institute, National Defense Medical
College, Saitama, Japan.
(5)Department of Developmental Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, National
Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan. Electronic address:
Programmed cell death protein (PD)-1 is a coinhibitory molecule that suppresses immune response and maintains immune homeostasis. Moreover, the PD-1 pathway blocks cancers from being attacked by immune cells. Anti-PD-1 antibody therapy such as nivolumab improves survival in cancer patients. However, the occurrence of autoimmune inflammatory disorders in various organs has been increasingly reported as an adverse effect of nivolumab. Of the disorders associated with nivolumab, Sicca syndrome occurs in 3% to 11% of cases and has unknown pathologic mechanisms. Whether the absence of the PD-1 pathway causes functional and morphologic disorders in lacrimal glands was determined by analyzing PD-1 gene-knockout (Pdcd1-/-) mice. Histopathologic analysis showed that Pdcd1-/- mice developed dacryoadenitis beginning at 3 to 4 months of age, and deteriorated with age. Flow-cytometric analysis confirmed that cells infiltrating the affected lacrimal glands consisted mainly of CD3+ T cells and only a small proportion of CD19+ B cells. Among infiltrating T cells, the CD4+ Th-cell subset consisted of Th1 cells producing interferon-γ in an early stage of dacryoadenitis in Pdcd1-/- mice. Experiments of lymphocyte transfer from Pdcd1-/- into irradiated wild-type mice confirmed that CD4+ T cells from Pdcd1-/- mice induced dacryoadenitis. These results indicate that PD-1 plays an important role in the prevention of autoimmune inflammatory disorders in lacrimal glands caused by activated CD4+ Th1 cells.
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