Understanding how combinatorial targeting of TLRs and TNFR family costimulatory members promote enhanced T cell responses

Paurvi Shinde, Vinita Bharat, Annabelle Rodriguez-Oquendo, Beiyan Zhou, Anthony T. Vella

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Due to the ability of pathogen-associated molecular patters and tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family costimulatory agonists to boost T cell responses, studies have combined Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands with TNFR family costimulatory receptor agonists to induce impressive and long-lasting T cell responses. Although some studies have determined how these combinatorial vaccines promote enhanced T cell responses, much remains unknown about the mechanism used by these combinations to promote synergistic T cell responses–especially in settings of infectious diseases or cancer. Areas covered: In this review, we look in detail at the signaling pathways induced by combinatorial targeting of TLR and TNFR family costimulatory members that help them promote synergistic T cell responses. Understanding this can greatly aid the development of novel vaccine regimens that promote cellular immune responses, which is essential for treating certain infectious diseases and cancer. Expert opinion: Vaccines against some infectious diseases as well as therapeutic cancer vaccines require cellular immunity. Therefore, we evaluate here how signaling pathways induced by TLR ligand and costimulatory agonist combinations promote enhanced T cell responses during immunization with model antigens, viral pathogens, or tumor antigens. Once pathways that drive these combinatorial vaccines to boost T cell activation are identified, they can be incorporated in vaccines designed to target pathogens or cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1073-1083
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • T cell responses
  • TLR adjuvants
  • TNFR family costimulatory receptors
  • cancer
  • infectious diseases
  • signaling pathways
  • tumor therapy
  • vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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