Inducible costimulator (ICOS), also called AILIM (activiation-inducible lymphocyte immunomediatory molecule) is a cell-surface receptor, and belongs to the CD28 family of immune costimulatory receptors consisting of CD28, CTLA-4 and PD-1. The interaction of B7-H2/ICOS plays a critical role in Th cell differentiation, T−B cell interactions which is essential for germinal center formation, and humoral immune responses, and as well as the production of cytokine IL-4. In addition, ICOS is more potent in the induction of IL-1 production, a cytokine important for suppressive function of T regulatory cells. The B7-1/B7-2--CD28/CTLA-4 and ICOS-B7RP-1 pathway provides key second signals that can regulate the activation, inhibition and fine-tuning of T-lymphocyte responses. ICOS stimulates both Th1 and Th2 cytokine production but may have a preferential role in Th2 cell development. Moreover, The B7-1/B7-2-CD28/CTLA-4 and ICOS-B7RP-1 pathway has been suggested of being involved in the development of airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness.
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