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Blood. 2009 Jun 4;113(23):5829-38. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-09-179507. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

IFN-lambda1 (IL-29) inhibits GATA3 expression and suppresses Th2 responses in human naive and memory T cells.

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  • 1Genetic Immunology Laboratory, HUMIGEN, The Institute for Genetic Immunology, Hamilton, NJ 08690, USA.


IFN-lambda1 (IL-29) plays a novel, emerging role in the inhibition of human Th2 responses. Here, we demonstrate that both naive and memory human CD4(+) T cells express mRNA for the IFN-lambda1-specific receptor, IL-28Ralpha, and are responsive to IFN-lambda1. Expression of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-13) was suppressed in naive and memory CD4(+) T cells by IFN-lambda1, without affecting their proliferation. Further, acquisition of IL-4Ralpha expression after stimulation was inhibited by IFN-lambda1, as was GATA3 expression. Finally, IFN-lambda1 diminished the change in cell-surface phenotype that accompanies differentiation of "central memory" T cells into "effector memory" T cells. Taken together, our data describe unique immunomodulatory effects of IFN-lambda1 and identify novel mechanisms for the reduction of existing Th2 responses and the regulation of new ones, in circulating naive and memory CD4(+) T cells.

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