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IFN-alpha inhibits IL-3 priming of human basophil cytokine secretion but not leukotriene C4 and histamine release.
The Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md 21224, USA.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 2003;112(5):944-50.
BACKGROUND: Innate immune responses play a critical role in determining the course of acquired immunity, including that associated with allergic disease. Type I interferons, which are generated early in these reactions, are important soluble factors that prime for TH1-like activity. OBJECTIVE: Because human basophils secrete IL-4 and IL-13 in response to both IgE-dependent and IgE-independent stimuli, we tested whether IFN-alpha, a major type I IFN, affects the production of these TH2 cytokines and/or mediator release from these cells. METHODS: Basophils isolated from blood were treated with IFN-alpha in the presence and absence of IL-3 priming before stimulating through the IgE receptor to release histamine, leukotriene C4, and IL-4. Effects of IFN-alpha on IL-3-mediated IL-13 secretion and basophil survival were also tested. IFN-alpha receptor expression was determined by RT-PCR. RESULTS: IFN-alpha specifically inhibited the effects IL-3 has on basophil cytokine secretion. Enhanced secretion of IL-4 resulting from IL-3 priming was significantly inhibited in cells concurrently cultured with IFN-alpha. This effect was specific for cytokine generation, because histamine and leukotriene C4 were unaffected. Furthermore, IFN-alpha blocked IL-13 secretion directly induced by IL-3. Although IFN-beta also possessed some inhibitory activity, IFN-gamma (a type II IFN) had no effect on basophil cytokine secretion. Basophils constitutively expressed mRNA for the type I IFN receptor, and IFN-alpha did not affect basophil viability with regard to inhibition of cytokine secretion. CONCLUSIONS: These results support the belief that early innate immune responses resulting in IFN-alpha production negatively regulate allergic responses by also inhibiting priming of basophil cytokine release.
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