Delayed polarization of mononuclear phagocyte transcriptional program by type I interferon isoforms

David F. Stroncek, Christopher Basil, Dirk Nagorsen, Sara Deola, Eleonora Aricó, Kina Smith, Ena Wang, Francesco M. Marincola, Monica C. Panelli

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Background: Interferon (IFN)-α is considered a key modulator of immunopathological processes through a signature-specific activation of mononuclear phagocytes (MPs). This study utilized global transcript analysis to characterize the effects of the entire type I IFN family in comparison to a broad panel of other cytokines on MP previously exposed to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in vitro. Results: Immature peripheral blood CD14+ MPs were stimulated with LPS and 1 hour later with 42 separate soluble factors including cytokines, chemokines, interleukins, growth factors and IFNs. Gene expression profiling of MPs was analyzed 4 and 9 hours after cytokine stimulation. Four hours after stimulation, the transcriptional analysis of MPs revealed two main classes of cytokines: one associated with the alternative and the other with the classical pathway of MP activation without a clear polarization of type I IFNs effects. In contrast, after 9 hours of stimulation most type I IFN isoforms induced a characteristic and unique transcriptional pattern separate from other cytokines. These "signature" IFNs included; IFN-β, IFN-α2b/α2, IFN-α1, IFN-α2, IFN-αC, IFN-αJ1, IFN-αH2, and INF-α4B and induced the over-expression of 44 genes, all of which had known functional relationships with IFN such as myxovirus resistance (Mx)-1, Mx-2, and interferon-induced hepatitis C-associated microtubular aggregation protein. A second group of type I IFNs segregated separately and in closer association with the type II IFN-γ. The phylogenetic relationship of amino acid sequences among type I IFNs did not explain their subclassification, although differences at positions 94 through 109 and 175 through 189 were present between the signature and other IFNs. Conclusion: Seven IFN-α isoforms and IFN-β participate in the late phase polarization of MPs conditioned by LPS. This information broadens the previous view of the central role played by IFN-α in autoimmunity and tumor rejection by including and/or excluding an array of related factors likely to be heterogeneously expressed by distinct sub-populations of individuals in sickness or in response to biological therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Autoimmunity
  • Interferon
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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