The programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 (B7-H1) signaling pathway has been the focus of much enthusiasm in the fields of tumor immunology and oncology with recent FDA approval of the anti-PD-1 antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab and the anti-PD-L1 antibodies durvalumab, atezolimuab, and avelumab. These therapies, referred to here as PD-L1/ PD-1 checkpoint blockade therapies, are designed to block the interaction between PD-L1, expressed by tumor cells, and PD-1, expressed by tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells, leading to enhanced antitumor CD8+ T cell responses and tumor regression. The influence of PD-L1 expressed by tumor cells on antitumor CD8+ T cell responses is well characterized, but the impact of PD-L1 expressed by immune cells has not been well defined for antitumor CD8+ T cell responses. Although PD-L1 expression by tumor cells has been used as a biomarker in selection of patients for PD-L1/PD-1 checkpoint blockade therapies, patients whose tumor cells lack PD-L1 expression often respond positively to PD-L1/PD-1 checkpoint blockade therapies. This suggests that PD-L1 expressed by non-malignant cells may also contribute to antitumor immunity. Here, we review the functions of PD-L1 expressed by immune cells in the context of CD8+ T cell priming, contraction, and differentiation into memory populations, as well as the role of PD-L1 expressed by tumor cells in regulating antitumor CD8+ T cell responses.
- B7-H1 (programmed death-ligand 1)
- Programmed death-1:programmed death-ligand 1 blockade
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy