Down-regulation of ICOS ligand by interaction with ICOS functions as a regulatory mechanism for immune responses

Masashi Watanabe, Yuri Takagi, Motoko Kotani, Yasushi Hara, Ayako Inamine, Katsuhiko Hayashi, Shuhei Ogawa, Kei Takeda, Kazunari Tanabe, Ryo Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Although it is well-known that the ICOS-ICOS ligand (ICOSL) costimulatory pathway is important for many immune responses, recent accumulated evidence suggests that dysregulation of this pathway may lead to and/or exaggerate autoimmune responses. ICOS is induced on the cell surface after T cell activation. Similarly, ICOSL is up-regulated on APCs by several mitogenic stimuli. However, the mechanism regulating expression of the ICOS-ICOSL pair, and the significance of controlling their expression for an appropriate immune response, is largely unknown. To gain a better understanding of the importance of fine control of the ICOS-ICOSL costimulatory pathway, we generated ICOS-transgenic (Tg) mice that have high constitutive expression of ICOS in all T cells. Using ICOS-Tg mice, we studied whether in vivo immune responses were affected. Unexpectedly, we first found that ICOS-Tg mice exhibited a phenotype resembling ICOS-deficient mice in their Ag-specific Ab response, such as a defect in class switch recombination. Further examination revealed that ICOSL expression of APCs was significantly suppressed in ICOS-Tg mice. Interestingly, suppression of ICOSL was induced by interaction of ICOSL with ICOS, and it seemed to be regulated at the posttranscriptional level. The suppressive effect of the ICOS-ICOSL interaction overcame the positive effect of CD40 or B cell activation factor of the TNF family (BAFF) stimulation on ICOSL expression. Together, our studies demonstrate a novel mechanism for the regulation of ICOSL expression in vivo and suggest that the ICOS costimulatory pathway is subject to negative feedback regulation by ICOSL down-regulation in response to ICOS expression. The Journal of Immunology, 2008, 180:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5222-5234
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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