TIM-1 is a costimulatory molecule that regulates immune responses by modulating CD4+ T cell effector differentiation. A recent mice study in JCI showed that it is expressed mainly in B cell subpopulation. And these TIM-1 positive cells that are B cells also produced IL-10. IL-10 is a very important regulatory molecule like Foxp3. These B cells were characterized as CD1dhiCD5+. Some consider these as B cells that have regulatory function. TIM-1+ B cells were highly enriched for IL-4 and IL-10 expression, promoted Th2 responses, and could directly transfer allograft tolerance. Prior studies have shown such cells in mice to help keep SLE quiet and inflammation under control. Perhaps, just like the T regs, there is a small but strong population that are present called B reg cells. Now studies so far have only found these in mice. Can this hold true in human studies is hard to tell yet. Perhaps! It will be important in the field of transplantation to sought this out as we move forward towards a better world of transplant tolerance. Why do some people have more tolerance than other? Perhaps its a Breg phenomenon. The current study suggests that TIM-1 may be a novel therapeutic target for modulating the immune response and provide insight into the signals involved in the generation and induction of Bregs.
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