CD137 (TNFRSF9, 4-1BB) is a potent co-stimulatory molecule of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) that is expressed by activated T cells. CD137/CD137 ligand (CD137L) signalling primarily induces a potent cell-mediated immune response, while signalling of cell surface-expressed CD137L into antigen presenting cells enhances their activation, differentiation and migratory capacity. Studies have shown that bidirectional CD137/CD137L signalling plays an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. This review discusses the mechanisms how CD137/CD137L signalling contributes to immune deviation of helper T cell pathways in various murine models, and the potential of developing immunotherapies targeting CD137/CD137L signalling for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Keywords: Autoimmunity CD137 CD137L Immunotherapy Soluble CD137