Open Access
Article
CD137, implications in immunity and potential for therapy
Elaine Thum1,Zhe Shao1,Herbert Schwarz1
1
Dept. of Physiology, and Immunology Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 117456 Singapore
DOI: 10.2741/3521 Volume 14 Issue 11, pp.4173-4188
Published: 01 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular therapy and vaccine development)
Abstract

CD137 is a member of the TNF receptor family and a potent T cell costimulatory molecule. Crosslinking of CD137 on activated T cells has shown promise in enhancing anti-tumor immune responses in murine models, and agonistic anti-CD137 antibodies are currently being tested in phase I clinical trials. Surprisingly, these very same agonistic anti-CD137 antibodies have also been found to ameliorate autoimmune disease under certain circumstances. At the current state of knowledge these circumstances cannot be clearly defined. Therefore, anti-CD137 antibodies in man will need to be used with caution. CD137 ligand is expressed by antigen presenting cells. Antagonistic anti-CD137 ligand antibodies have shown efficacy in dampening disease in murine autoimmune models. A similar effect would be expected from antagonistic anti-CD137 antibodies, soluble CD137, or any other compound interfering with CD137 / CD137 ligand interaction. CD137 ligand is expressed as a transmembrane protein on the cell surface and it too can transmit signals into antigen presenting cells. Agonistic anti-CD137 ligand antibodies or a recombinant CD137 protein could stimulate the activity of antigen presenting cells.

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Elaine Thum, Zhe Shao, Herbert Schwarz. CD137, implications in immunity and potential for therapy. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2009. 14(11); 4173-4188.