T cells play a central role in the initiation and regulation of the immune response to antigen. Both the engagement of the TCR with MHC/Ag and a second signal are needed for the complete activation of the T cell. The CD28/B7 receptor/ligand system is one of the dominant costimulatory pathways. Interruption of this signaling pathway with CD28 antagonists not only results in the suppression of the immune response, but in some cases induces antigen- specific tolerance. However, the CD28/B7 system is increasingly complex due to the identification of multiple receptors and ligands with positive and negative signaling activities. This review summarizes the state of CD28/B7 immunobiology both in vitro and in vivo; summarizes the many experiments that have led to our current understanding of the participants in this complex receptor/ligand system; and illustrates the current models for CD28/B7- mediated T cell and B cell regulation. It is our hope and expectation that this review will provoke additional research that will unravel this important, yet complex, signaling pathway.
- T cell activation