Published online Jan 24, 2022. doi: 10.5411/wji.v12.i1.1
Peer-review started: April 28, 2021
First decision: July 8, 2021
Revised: August 5, 2021
Accepted: December 22, 2021
Article in press: December 22, 2021
Published online: January 24, 2022
Co-stimulatory molecules are key mediators in the regulation of immune responses and knowledge of its different families, structure, and functions has improved in recent decades. Understanding the role of co-stimulatory molecules in pathological processes has allowed the development of strategies to modulate cellular functions. Currently, modulation of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules has been applied in clinical applications as therapeutic targets in diseases and promising results have been achieved.
Core Tip: Several reviews of co-stimulatory molecules have been published, however, this review summarizes the historical aspects, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the different families of costimulatory molecules implied in processes of health and disease. All of this knowledge has been applied to develop different drugs targeting costimulatory molecules in different diseases like cancer and autoimmune diseases.