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Lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3) is one of the immune checkpoint molecules, negatively regulating the T-cell reactions. The present study investigated the role of LAG-3 in sepsis-induced T-lymphocyte disability. Mice sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). LAG-3 expression on some immune cells were detected 24 hours after CLP. LAG-3 knockout and anti-LAG-3 antibody were applied to investigate the effects on the survival, bacterial clearance. Cytokine levels, T-cell counts, and the presence of apoptosis (in blood, spleen, and thymus) were also determined. In vitro T-cell apoptosis, interferon γ secretion, and proliferation were measured. The expression of interleukin 2 receptor on T cells was also determined after CLP. LAG-3 was up-regulated on CD4+/CD8+ T, CD19+ B, natural killer, CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and dendritic cells. Both LAG-3 knockout and anti-LAG-3 antibody had a positive effect on survival and on blood or peritoneal bacterial clearance in mice undergoing CLP. Cytokine levels and T-cell apoptosis decreased in anti-LAG-3 antibody-treated mice. Induced T-cell apoptosis decreased, whereas interferon γ secretion and proliferation were improved by anti-LAG-3 antibody in vitro. Interleukin 2 receptor was up-regulated on T cells in both wild-type and LAG-3-knockout mice undergoing CLP. LAG-3 knockout or anti-LAG-3 antibody blockade protected mice undergoing CLP from sepsis-associated immunodysfunction and may be a new target for the treatment. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail:


Jing-Sheng Lou, Jia-Feng Wang, Miao-Miao Fei, Yan Zhang, Jun Wang, Yu Guo, Jin-Jun Bian, Xiao-Ming Deng. Targeting Lymphocyte Activation Gene 3 to Reverse T-Lymphocyte Dysfunction and Improve Survival in Murine Polymicrobial Sepsis. The Journal of infectious diseases. 2020 Aug 17;222(6):1051-1061

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PMID: 32347939

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