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Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Aug;14(4):432-6.

Links between innate and adaptive immunity via type I interferon.

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  • 1The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, UK.


Type I interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) is expressed rapidly following exposure to a wide variety of infectious agents and plays a key role in innate control of virus replication. Recent studies have demonstrated that dendritic cells both produce IFN-alpha/beta and undergo maturation in response to IFN-alpha/beta. Moreover, IFN-alpha/beta has been shown to potently enhance immune responses in vivo through the stimulation of dendritic cells. These findings indicate that IFN-alpha/beta serves as a signal linking innate and adaptive immunity.

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