The immunosuppressive properties of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) suggest a new role of angiogenic factors in T cell modulation in cancer and pregnancy. Most of VEGF effects on T cells are mediated through the VEGF receptor type 2 (VEGFR-2). This study aims to investigate the role of placental growth factor (PlGF) as a selective VEGFR-1 ligand in the modulation of human T cells functions. For this, PBMCs from healthy donors were stimulated with anti-CD3 mAbs (a-CD3) or Concanavalin A (ConA) in the absence or presence of PlGF and assessed for T cell proliferation, IL-10 production, programmed cell death, and the expression of inhibitory receptors (PD-1, CTLA-4, TIM-3) using radiometric (3H-thymidine incorporation) and FACS analysis. We showed that most T cells in freshly isolated PBMCs lacked VEGFR-1. However, activation with a-CD3 or ConA strongly increased the percentages of VEGFR-1 expressing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. PlGF in a wide dose range suppressed PBMC cell proliferation, inhibiting both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Blockade of VEGFR-1, but not VEGFR-2 with neutralizing Abs completely abolished the suppressive effect of PlGF. Furthermore, we found that treatment with PlGF up-regulated IL-10 production in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, promoted CD8+ T cells apoptosis and enhanced the expression of inhibitory receptors (PD-1 and TIM-3) on activated T cells. Our in vitro findings suggest the involvement of PlGF/VEGFR-1 signaling in the modulation of T cell responses in a-CD3-stimulated PBMCs.