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Virology. 1990 May;176(1):30-8.

Induction of interferon-alpha by interferon-beta, but not of interferon-beta by interferon-alpha, in the mouse.

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Department of Virus Infection, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The antigenicity of the interferon (IFN) produced in transgenic mice carrying an extra mouse IFN-beta gene under the control of mouse metallothionein-I enhancer-promoter was examined after induction with Cd2+. Unexpectedly, IFN-alpha in addition to IFN-beta was detected in the serum. Induction of IFN-alpha was also observed when recombinant mouse IFN-beta was injected into normal mice. IFN-alpha was first detected in the circulation 6-10 hr after the administration of IFN-beta, and after 12 hr, IFN-alpha became the major component of serum IFN. On the other hand, when IFN-alpha was injected, no production of IFN-beta was observed. Messenger RNAs specific for IFN-alpha and endogenous IFN-beta were detected in the spleen, though the amount of IFN-beta mRNA was much less than that of IFN-alpha mRNA. These mRNAs were not detected in other organs including the liver where exogenous IFN-beta gene was markedly expressed. These observations showed that the expression of IFN-alpha is inducible by IFN-beta in the mouse, and the spleen was suggested to be the main site of production. Possible mechanisms of the induction are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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