Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) selleck inhibitor is the single most important factor that limits long-term survival following lung transplantation . We have shown that BOS is associated with lack of immunosuppression of T cell T helper
type 1 (Th1) cell proinflammatory cytokines and increased T cell granzyme B by peripheral blood T cells [2, 3]. Current immunosuppressive therapies target Th1 proinflammatory cells ; however, they are relatively non-specific and, as we have shown, ineffective at reducing proinflammatory mediators produced by major lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood of lung transplant patients undergoing and preceding diagnosis of BOS [2, 3, 5]. Hence, there is an urgent need for new targeted therapy to prevent BOS. Following Selleck Z-VAD-FMK adhesion and antigen presentation, T cells require co-stimulatory
signals from professional antigen-presenting cells through surface receptors for T cell proliferation and cytokine production . Repeated antigen-driven proliferation down-regulates T cell CD28 and expansion of late-differentiated, antigen-specific, oligoclonal T cells . Recently, we have shown CD28 down-regulation on CD8+ T cells, the main effector T cells in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), another important
chronic pulmonary disease . We hypothesized that down-regulation of CD28 (to a ‘CD28null’ phenotype) and corresponding up-regulation of alternate co-stimulatory molecules Tyrosine-protein kinase BLK may play an important role in the generation of steroid-resistant cytotoxic molecules such as granzymes/perforin and proinflammatory cytokine production by T cells in BOS. Down-regulation of CD28 expression following persistent antigenic stimulation has also been shown to be associated with up-regulation of CD57 expression, a terminally sulphated carbohydrate determinant found on subsets of natural killer (NK) cells and NK T-like cells associated with ageing . Interestingly, we have shown recently that there are increased peripheral blood CD56+CD3+ NK T-like cells in blood from stable lung transplant patients and that these cells exhibit increased production of proinflammatory cytokines interferon (IFN)-γ and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and expression of cytotoxic molecules, perforin and granzymes . We hypothesized that dysregulated expression of T cell co-stimulatory molecules may be associated with steroid resistance and BOS, and identify potential new therapeutic targets that are needed urgently to improve the morbidity and mortality rates following lung transplantation.