The gastrointestinal (GI) mucosa is among the most complex systems in the body. It has a diverse commensal microbiome challenged continuously by food and microbial components while delivering essential nutrients and defending against pathogens. For these reasons, regulatory cells and receptors are likely to play a central role in maintaining the gut mucosal homeostasis. Recent lessons from cancer immunotherapy point out the critical role of the B7 negative co-stimulator PD-L1 in mucosal homeostasis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge supporting the critical role of PD-L1 in gastrointestinal mucosal tolerance and how abnormalities in its expression and signaling contribute to gut inflammation and cancers. Abnormal expression of PD-L1 and/or the PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathways have been observed in the pathology of the GI tract. We also discuss the current gap in our knowledge with regards to PD-L1 signaling in the GI tract under homeostasis and pathology. Finally, we summarize the current understanding of how this pathway is currently targeted to develop novel therapeutic approaches.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry