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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

IFN-alpha and IL-12 induce IL-18 receptor gene expression in human NK and T cells.

IL-18 is a proinflammatory cytokine that enhances innate and specific Th1 immune responses. During microbial infections, IL-18 is produced by activated macrophages. IL-18 exerts its effects in synergy with IFN-alpha or IL-12 to induce IFN-gamma. Here we show that in human NK and T cells IFN-alpha and IL-12 strongly up-regulate mRNA expression of the IL-18R components, accessory protein-like (AcPL) and IL-1R-related protein (IL-1Rrp). In addition, IFN-alpha enhanced the expression of MyD88, an adaptor molecule involved in IL-18 signaling. Pretreatment of T cells with IFN-alpha or IL-12 enhanced IL-18-induced NF-kappaB activation and sensitized the cells to respond to lower concentrations of IL-18. AcPL and IL-1Rrp genes were strongly expressed in T cells polarized with IL-12, whereas in IL-4-polarized cells these genes were expressed at very low levels, indicating that AcPL and IL-1Rrp genes are preferentially expressed in Th1 cells. In conclusion, the results suggest that IFN-alpha and IL-12 enhance innate as well as Th1 immune response by inducing IL-18R expression.[1]


  1. IFN-alpha and IL-12 induce IL-18 receptor gene expression in human NK and T cells. Sareneva, T., Julkunen, I., Matikainen, S. J. Immunol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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