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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Aug;81(15):4917-21.

Immune interferon activates multiple class II major histocompatibility complex genes and the associated invariant chain gene in human endothelial cells and dermal fibroblasts.


Immune interferon (IFN-gamma) increases the surface expression of HLA-A,B antigens and induces the surface expression of HLA-DR antigens on vascular endothelial cells and dermal fibroblasts. Here we report that IFN-gamma induces parallel expression of two other class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens, SB and DC. Maximal surface expression of all three antigens is reached in 4-6 days, and HLA-DR and -SB are induced to a higher level of expression than HLA-DC. For all three class II antigens, induction is marked by the de novo appearance of detectable transcripts of class II heavy and light chains and of the non-MHC-encoded invariant chain, suggestive of the transcription of multiple previously silent genes. Class I message levels and antigen expression are also increased by IFN-gamma at similar rates but from initial levels that are 50% of maximal. After removal of IFN-gamma, class II antigen expression persists for at least 4 days, while mRNA levels decrease rapidly. The parallel induction and persistence of the several class II MHC antigens may be important in conferring immune accessory function on vascular and stromal cells.

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