Article

IL-4 suppresses dendritic cell response to type I interferons

Laboratory of Dendritic Cell Biology, Joseph Stokes Jr. Research Institute, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 12/2007; 179(10):6446-55. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.179.10.6446
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cytokines play an important role in modulating the development and function of dendritic cells (DCs). Type I IFNs activate DCs and drive anti-viral responses, whereas IL-4 is the prototype of a Th2 cytokine. Evidence suggests that type I IFNs and IL-4 influence each other to modulate DC functions. We found that two type I IFNs, IFN-alpha and IFN-beta, stimulated a similar costimulatory profile in myeloid resting DCs. IL-4 suppressed the response of myeloid DCs to both type I IFNs in vitro and in vivo by impairing the up-regulation of MHC and costimulatory molecules and the production of cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-15, and anti-viral genes, such as Mx-1, upon type I IFN stimulation. In dissecting the mechanism underlying this inhibition, we characterized the positive feedback loop that is triggered by IFN-alpha in primary DCs and found that IL-4 inhibited the initial phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT2 (the transducers of signaling downstream of IFN-alpha and -beta receptors (IFNARs)) and reduced the up-regulation of genes involved in the amplification of the IFN response such as IRF-7, STAT1, STAT2, IFN-beta, and the IFNARs in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, IL-4 renders myeloid DCs less responsive to paracrine type I IFNs and less potent in sustaining the autocrine positive loop that normally amplifies the effects of type I IFNs. This inhibition could explain the increased susceptibility to viral infections observed during Th2-inducing parasitoses.

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