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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58465. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058465. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Differential activity of type I interferon subtypes for dendritic cell differentiation.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche 5235, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Montpellier II, Montpellier, France.


The type I interferon (IFN) family comprises 15 cytokines (in human 13α, 1β, 1ω), which exert several cellular functions through binding to a common receptor. Despite initial activation of the same Jak/Stat signalling pathway, the cellular response may differ depending on type I IFN subtype. We investigated the activity of six type I IFN subtypes - IFNα1, α2, α8, α21, ω and β- to promote the differentiation of dendritic cells (DC). Transcriptome analyses identified two distinct groups, the IFNα/ω-DC and the IFNβ-DC. In addition, the expression level of seven chemokines and several cell surface markers characteristic of DC distinguished IFNα-DC and IFNβ-DC. These differences are unlikely to impact the efficacy of T cell functional response since IFNα2-DC and IFNβ-DC were equipotent in inducing the proliferation and the polarization of allogenic naïve CD4 T cells into Th1 cells and in stimulating autologous antigen specific CD4 or CD8 T cells. Of the functional parameters analysed, the only one that showed a modest differential was the phagocytic uptake of dead cells which was higher for IFNα2-DC.

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