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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 2419621, 11 pages
Research Article

PD-1/PD-L1 Interaction Maintains Allogeneic Immune Tolerance Induced by Administration of Ultraviolet B-Irradiated Immature Dendritic Cells

1Department of Hematology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053, China
2Department of Chemotherapy, Weihai Municipal Hospital, Weihai 264200, China
3Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

Received 21 March 2016; Revised 5 June 2016; Accepted 3 July 2016

Academic Editor: Moisés E. Bauer

Copyright © 2016 Lanfang Zhang and Chang-Qing Xia. 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.


Our previous study demonstrated that transfusion of ultraviolet B-irradiated immature dendritic cells (UVB-iDCs) induced alloantigen-specific tolerance between two different strains of mice. Programmed death-1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) have been suggested to play an important role in maintaining immune tolerance. In the present study, we seek to address whether PD-1/PD-L1 plays a role in the maintenance of UVB-iDC-induced tolerance. We first observe that the UVB-iDC-induced alloantigen-specific tolerance can be maintained for over 6 weeks. Supporting this, at 6 weeks after tolerance induction completion, alloantigen-specific tolerance is still able to be transferred to syngeneic naïve mice through adoptive transfer of CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, skin transplantation study shows that the survival of allogeneic grafts is prolonged in those tolerant recipients. Further studies show that PD-1/PD-L1 interaction is essential for maintaining the induced tolerance as blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 by anti-PD-L1 antibodies largely breaks the tolerance at both cellular and humoral immunological levels. Importantly, we show that PD-1/PD-L1 interaction in tolerant mice is also essential for controlling alloantigen-responding T cells, which have never experienced alloantigens. The above findings suggest that PD-1/PD-L1 plays a crucial role in maintaining immune tolerance induced by UVB-iDCs, as well as in actively controlling effector T cells specific to alloantigens.