Upregulation of Programmed death-1 and its ligand in cardiac injury models: Interaction with GADD153

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61 Scopus citations


Purpose: Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand, PD-L1, are regulators of immune/inflammatory mechanisms. We explored the potential involvement of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in the inflammatory response and tissue damage in cardiac injury models. Experimental Design: Ischemic-reperfused and cryoinjured hearts were processed for flow cytometry and immunohistochemical studies for determination of cardiac PD-1 and PD-L1 in the context of assessment of the growth arrest- and DNA damage-inducible protein 153 (GADD153) which regulates both inflammation and cell death. Further, we explored the potential ability of injured cardiac cells to influence proliferation of T lymphocytes. Results: The isolated ischemic-reperfused hearts displayed marked increases in expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in cardiomyocytes; however, immunofluorescent studies indicate that PD-1 and PD-L1 are not primarily co-expressed on the same cardiomyocytes. Upregulation of PD-1/PD-L1 was associated with a) marked increases in GADD153 and interleukin (IL)-17 but a mild increase in IL-10 and b) disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) as well as apoptotic and necrotic cell death. Importantly, while isotype matching treatment did not affect the aforementioned changes, treatment with the PD-L1 blocking antibody reversed those effects in association with marked cardioprotection. Further, ischemic-reperfused cardiac cells reduced proliferation of T lymphocytes, an effect partially reversed by PD-L1 antibody. Subsequent studies using the cryoinjury model of myocardial infarction revealed significant increases in PD-1, PD-L1, GADD153 and IL-17 positive cells in association with significant apoptosis/necrosis. Conclusions: The data suggest that upregulation of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in cardiac injury models mediates tissue damage likely through a paracrine mechanism. Importantly, inhibition of T cell proliferation by ischemic-reperfused cardiac cells is consistent with the negative immunoregulatory role of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, likely reflecting an endogenous cardiac mechanism to curtail the deleterious impact of infiltrating immune cells to the damaged myocardium. The balance of these countervailing effects determines the extent of cardiac injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0124059
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 22 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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