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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2010, Article ID 239083, 10 pages
Review Article

Glucocorticoid-Induced TNFR-Related (GITR) Protein and Its Ligand in Antitumor Immunity: Functional Role and Therapeutic Modulation

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Eberhard Karls University, Otfried-Mueller-Str. 10, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany

Received 1 July 2010; Accepted 2 September 2010

Academic Editor: Helen Su

Copyright © 2010 Theresa Placke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ability of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family member GITR to modulate immune responses has been the subject of multiple studies. Initially thought to be critically involved in governing functions of regulatory T cells, GITR and its ligand GITRL have meanwhile been found to modulate the reactivity of various different cell types and to influence a broad variety of immunological conditions including the immune response against tumors. Not only GITR, but also GITRL is capable of transducing signals, and the consequences of GITR-GITRL interaction may vary among different effector cell types, differ upon signal transduction via the receptor, the ligand, or both, depend on the level of an ongoing immune response, and even differ among mice and men. In this paper, we address available data on GITR and its ligand in immune responses and discuss the role and potential therapeutic modulation of this molecule system in antitumor immunity.