. 2020 Dec; 8(22):1526.
doi: 10.21037/atm-20-6719.

The role of the programmed cell death protein-1/programmed death-ligand 1 pathway, regulatory T cells and T helper 17 cells in tumor immunity: a narrative review

Lanfang Zhang 1 Mingjuan Zhang 1 Jinxiu Xu 1 Shan Li 1 Yu Chen 1 Wenjing Wang 1 Juntian Yang 1 Shengyun Li 1 Meiling Gu 1 
  • PMID: 33313271
  •     82 References
  •     3 citations


Tumor immunotherapy, especially that involving programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunosuppressive checkpoint inhibitors, has become an important part of tumor treatment strategy in the past decade. Blocking PD-1/PD-L1 signaling pathway can reduce the inhibitory effect of PD-1 pathway on T cells, promote the anti-tumor activity of activated T cells, and prolong the remission period of tumor. While PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy is effective in the treatment of solid malignant tumors, it also has shortcomings, due to the complexity of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Regulatory T cells (Tregs) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells play an important role in the TME and are closely related to the occurrence and development of tumors. Tregs can inhibit the anti-tumor immune effect, while Th17 cells play a dual role in tumor immunity, which not only promotes tumorigenesis but also promotes anti-tumor immunity. In the occurrence and development of tumor, PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, Tregs and Th17 cells are interrelated. However, the complicated relationship between the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, Tregs, and Th17 cells has not been fully clarified. Here, we summarize the immunoregulation mechanisms and discuss the crosstalk between the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, Tregs, and Th17 cells, with the aim of providing novel insights for future cancer treatment.

Keywords: T helper 17 cells (Th17 cells); Tumor; programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1); regulatory T cells (Tregs).

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