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Adv Appl Microbiol. 2010;73:83-101. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2164(10)73004-5.

Type I interferon modulates the battle of host immune system against viruses.

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Department of Surgery, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Virology Center, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, USA.


Type I interferon (IFN), as its name implies, 'interferes' with virus replication by activating numerous genes. Further, virus-induced type I IFN regulates the magnitude and functions of cells directing the host immune system. Importantly, recent exploration into how type I IFN operates following virus infection has advanced our understanding of its role with respect to modulation of host innate and adaptive immune responses. Such activities include the activation of antigen-presenting dendritic cells and the localization, expansion or differentiation of virus-specific T lymphocytes and antibody-producing B lymphocytes. However, type I IFN not only benefits the host but can also induce unnecessary or extremely pathogenic immune responses. This review focuses on such interactions and the manner in which type I IFN induces dynamic changes in the host immune network, particularly adaptive immune responses to viral invasion. Manipulating the type I IFN-mediated host immune response during virus infections could provide new immunotherapeutic interventions to remedy viral diseases and implement more effective and sustainable type I IFN therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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