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That's interesting .... I have been considering PD-1 to be a marker of CD8 exhaustion, as described by Ahmed's group last year (Wherry EJ, Ha SJ, Kaech SM, Haining WN, Sarkar S, Kalia V, Subramaniam S, Blattman JN, Barber DL, Ahmed R (2007) Molecular signature of CD8+ T cell exhaustion during chronic viral infection. Immunity 27:670–684.) If that was the case, then blocking PD-1 wouldn't do much, because there are still presumably other defects in the exhausted cell ("functional exhaustion is probably due to both active suppression and passive defects in signaling and metabolism").

But I see that there's evidence for a dominant, active suppression role for PD-1; for example, the latest J Immunol has this paper from Cao's group:

Mohamed Elrefaei, Chris A. R. Baker, Norman G. Jones, David R. Bangsberg and Huyen Cao. Presence of Suppressor HIV-Specific CD8+ T Cells Is Associated with Increased PD-1 Expression on Effector CD8+ T Cells. The Journal of Immunology, 2008, 180: 7757-7763

that links active suppression to PD-1.

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