Interferon-producing cells fail to induce proliferation of naive T cells but can promote expansion and T helper 1 differentiation of antigen-experienced unpolarized T cells

Anne Krug, Ravi Veeraswamy, Andrew Pekosz, Osami Kanagawa, Emil R. Unanue, Marco Colonna, Marina Cella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

142 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interferon-producing cells (IPCs) secrete high levels of type I interferon in response to certain viruses. The lack of lineage markers, the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and the capacity to stimulate allogeneic T cells have led these cells to be classified as a subset of dendritic cells (DCs), called plasmacytoid DCs (PDCs). However, the role of IPCs/PDCs in initiating primary immune responses remains elusive. Here we examined the antigen presenting capacity of murine IPCs in antigen specific systems. While CD8α+ and CD11b+ DCs induced logarithmic expansion of naive CD4 and CD8 T cells, without conferring T helper commitment at a first encounter, primary IPCs lacked the ability to stimulate naive T cells. However, when antigen-experienced, nonpolarized T cells expanded by classical DC subsets, were restimulated by IPCs, they proliferated and produced high amounts of IFN-γ. These data indicate that IPCs can effectively stimulate preactivated or memory-type T cells and exert an immune-regulatory role. They also suggest that expansion of naive T cells and acquisition of effector function during antigen-specific T cell responses may involve different antigen-presenting cell (APC) types. Independent and coordinated control of T cell proliferation and differentiation would provide the immune system with greater flexibility in regulating immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-906
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume197
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

Keywords

  • Dendritic cells
  • Interferon-producing cells
  • Th1 cells
  • Unpolarized T cells

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