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Eur J Immunol. 2004 Mar;34(3):796-805. doi: 10.1002/eji.200324610.

Viral infection and Toll-like receptor agonists induce a differential expression of type I and lambda interferons in human plasmacytoid and monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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Laboratory of Immunology, Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
CNRS UMR 5124, Montpellier, France.
Department of Microbiology, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA.


In humans, the type I interferon (IFN) family consists of 13 IFN-alpha subtypes, IFN-beta and IFN-omicron the newly discovered IFN-like family consists of IFN-lambda1, -lambda2 and -lambda3. We have investigated the expression of type I and lambda IFN genes following virus infections or Toll-like receptor (TLR) triggering in monocyte-derived DC (MDDC) and plasmacytoid DC (pDC). We found that all IFN-alpha, -beta, -omicron and -lambda subtypes are expressed in influenza-virus-infected MDDC or pDC. Conversely, differential type I IFN gene transcription was induced in MDDC and pDC stimulated by specific TLR agonists. TLR-9 stimulation by CpG DNA induced the expression of all IFN-alpha, -beta, -omicron and -lambda subtypes in pDC, whereas TLR-4 stimulation by LPS, or TLR-3 stimulation by poly I:C, induced only IFN-beta and IFN-lambda gene expression in MDDC. The expression pattern of IFN regulatory factor (IRF)-5 and IRF-7 in MDDC and pDC was also determined. IRF-5 was constitutively expressed in the two DC subsets whereas IRF-7 was constitutive in pDC but its expression was induced along MDDC maturation. Overall, our data indicate that the coordinated expression of IFN-lambda with IFN-beta would be of crucial importance for the maturation of DC.

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