Increase of cells expressing PD-1 and PD-l1 and enhancement of IFN-γ production via PD-1/PD-l1 blockade in bovine mycoplasmosis

Shinya Goto, Satoru Konnai, Tomohiro Okagawa, Asami Nishimori, Naoya Maekawa, Satoshi Gondaira, Hidetoshi Higuchi, Masateru Koiwa, Motoshi Tajima, Junko Kohara, Satoshi Ogasawara, Yukinari Kato, Yasuhiko Suzuki, Shiro Murata, Kazuhiko Ohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Bovine mycoplasma, chiefly Mycoplasma bovis, is a pathogen that causes pneumonia, mastitis, arthritis, and otitis media in cattle. This pathogen exerts immunosuppressive effects, such as the inhibition of interferon production. However, the mechanisms involved in bovine mycoplasmosis have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the role of the programmed death-1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway in immunosuppression in bovine mycoplasmosis. METHODS: In the initial experiments, we used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure interferon-γ (IFN-γ) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from cattle with mycoplasmosis. RESULTS: Expectedly, IFN-γ production significantly decreased in cattle with mycoplasmosis compared with that in clinically healthy cattle. Concomitantly, flow cytometric analysis revealed that the proportions of PD-1+ CD4+ and PD-L1+ CD14+ cells significantly increased in peripheral blood of the infected cattle. Interestingly, the number of PD-1+ CD4+ and PD-1+ CD8+ T cells were negatively correlated with IFN-γ production from PBMCs in bovine mycoplasmosis. Additionally, blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in vitro by anti-bovine PD-1- and anti-bovine PD-L1 antibodies significantly upregulated the production of IFN-γ from anti-mycoplasma-specific cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway could be involved in immune exhaustion of bovine mycoplasma-specific T cells. In conclusion, our study opens up a new perspective in the therapeutic strategy for bovine mycoplasmosis by targeting the immunoinhibitory receptor pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalImmunity, inflammation and disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept


  • Bovine mycoplasmosis
  • IFN-γ
  • Immunosuppression
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1


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