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PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0190334. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190334. eCollection 2018.

Stage-specific IFN-induced and IFN gene expression reveal convergence of type I and type II IFN and highlight their role in both acute and chronic stage of pathogenic SIV infection.

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CEA, Université Paris Sud, INSERM U1184, Immunology of Viral Infections and Autoimmune Diseases (IMVA), IDMIT Department / IBFJ, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
Cytokines and Viral Infections, Immunology Infection and Inflammation Department, Institut Cochin, INSERM U1016, Paris, France.
CNRS, UMR8104, Paris, France.
Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
APHP, Service de Médecine Interne-Immunologie Clinique, Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.


Interferons (IFNs) play a major role in controlling viral infections including HIV/SIV infections. Persistent up-regulation of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) is associated with chronic immune activation and progression in SIV/HIV infections, but the respective contribution of different IFNs is unclear. We analyzed the expression of IFN genes and ISGs in tissues of SIV infected macaques to understand the respective roles of type I and type II IFNs. Both IFN types were induced in lymph nodes during early stage of primary infection and to some extent in rectal biopsies but not in PBMCs. Induction of Type II IFN expression persisted during the chronic phase, in contrast to undetectable induction of type I IFN expression. Global gene expression analysis with a major focus on ISGs revealed that at both acute and chronic infection phases most differentially expressed ISGs were inducible by both type I and type II IFNs and displayed the highest increases, indicating strong convergence and synergy between type I and type II IFNs. The analysis of functional signatures of ISG expression revealed temporal changes in IFN expression patterns identifying phase-specific ISGs. These results suggest that IFN-γ strongly contribute to shape ISG upregulation in addition to type I IFN.

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