Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10072520
J. Immunol. 1999 Mar;162(5):2748-53
Lymphocyte activation gene-3 (LAG-3) is an MHC class II ligand structurally and genetically related to CD4. Although its expression is restricted to activated T cells and NK cells, the functions of LAG-3 remain to be elucidated. Here, we report on the expression and function of LAG-3 on proinflammatory bystander T cells that are activated in the absence of TCR engagement. LAG-3 is expressed at high levels on human T cells cocultured with autologous monocytes and IL-2 and synergizes with the low levels of CD40 ligand (CD40L) expressed on these cells to trigger TNF-alpha and IL-12 production by monocytes. Indeed, anti-LAG-3 mAb inhibits both IL-12 and IFN-gamma production in IL-2-stimulated cocultures of T cells and autologous monocytes. Soluble LAG-3Ig fusion protein markedly enhances IL-12 production by monocytes stimulated with infra-optimal concentrations of sCD40L, whereas it directly stimulates monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) for the production of TNF-alpha and IL-12, unravelling an enhanced responsiveness to MHC class II engagemenent in DC as compared with activated monocytes. Thus similar to CD40L, LAG-3 may be involved in the proinflammatory activity of cytokine-activated bystander T cells and most importantly it may directly activate DC.