TIM is "T cell immunoglobulin mucin". They are molecules that have shown to play a major role in immune responses. TIM 1,3 and 4 are the ones mainly noted in the literature. TIM-1 and 3 are more on T cells and Tim-4 on Antigen presenting cells.
TIM 1:- Expression is on CD4+T cells, B cells, Mast cells and NK cells. The proposed ligands for this molecule are TIM-4, IM3, and IgA and heavy chain to name a few. The role in innate immunity is mediating clearance of apoptotic bodies and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. In adaptive immunity, it increased th2 differentiation. Disease models include increased expression Asthma, MS, Sarcoidosis, and epithelial cells in AKI( also called KIM-1)
TIM3:- Expression on TH1 and Th17 cells, CD8+T cells and Antigen presenting cells. Innate immunity wise limits macrophage expansion and modulates CD80 and CTLA-4 expression on antigen presenting cells. It also helps in peripheral tolerance. Disease models include T cells in chronic malignancy and infection. Down regulated in Asthma and MS
TIM4:- Expression on dendritic cells and macrophages. Ligands are TIM 1 and CD4+ t cells. It up regulates Th2 responses and proliferation of activated T cells. Disease model is food allergies and Asthma.
The TIM family is appearing as modulators of the immune system and helps in co stimulation of T cells. More will come about these molecules to improve our understanding of transplant immunology.
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