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Cytokine. 2006 Sep;35(5-6):235-46. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Blockade of TLR9 agonist-induced type I interferons promotes inflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma and IL-17 secretion by activated human PBMC.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Type I interferons (IFN) (IFN-alpha/beta) are recognized as both inhibitors and effectors of autoimmune disease. In multiple sclerosis, IFN-beta therapy appears beneficial, in part, due to its suppression of autoimmune inflammatory Th cell responses. In contrast, in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) triggering of plasmacytoid DC (pDC) Toll-like receptors (TLRs) by autoimmune complexes (autoICs) results in circulating type I IFN that appear to promote disease by driving autoantigen presentation and autoantibody production. To investigate how pDC-derived type I IFN might regulate Th cells in SLE, we examined a model in which sustained pDC stimulation by autoICs is mimicked by pretreating normal human PBMC with TLR9 agonist, CpG-A. Subsequently, PBMC Th cells are activated with superantigen, and APC are activated with CD40L. The role of CpG-A/TLR9-induced type I IFN in regulating PBMC is determined by blocking with virus-derived soluble type I IFN receptor, B18R. In summary, pretreatment with either rhIFN-alpha/beta or CpG-A inhibits PBMC secretion of superantigen-induced IFN-gamma and IL-17, and CD40L-induced IL-12p70 and IL-23. B18R prevents these effects. Data indicate that CpG-A-induced type I IFN inhibit IL-12p70-dependent PBMC IFN-gamma secretion by enhancing IL-10. Our results suggest that in SLE, circulating type I IFN may potentially act to inhibit inflammatory cytokine secretion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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