PLoS ONE, 2013, Vol.8(4)
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) are the most potent producers of type-I interferon (IFN) and represent the main interferon (IFN)-α source in response to many viruses. Considering the important roles played by type I IFN’s, not only as antiviral effectors but also as potent alarming cytokine of the immune system, we investigated how such responses are regulated by various cytokines. To this end, we stimulated enriched pDC in the presence or absence of particular cytokines with a strong activator, CpG DNA, or a weak activator of pDC, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Alternatively, we pre-incubated pDC for 16 h before stimulation. The pro-inflammatory cytokines tested Interleukin (IL)-6, IL17A, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α did not influence IFN-α responses except TNF-α, which promoted responses induced by FMDV. The haematopoietic cytokines Fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3-L) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) had enhancing effects on pDC activation at least in one of the protocols tested. IFN-β and IFN-γ were the most potent at enhancing FMDV-induced IFN-α, up to 10-fold. Interestingly, also the Th2 cytokine IL-4 was an efficient promoter of pDC activity, while IL-10 was the only negative regulator of IFN-α in pDC identified. The cytokines enhancing IFN-α responses also promoted pDC survival in cell culture with the exception of GM-CSF. Taken together this work illustrates how the cytokine network can influence pDC activation, a knowledge of relevance for improving vaccines and therapeutic interventions during virus infections, cancers and autoimmune diseases in which pDC play a role.
Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine ; Veterinary Science