Regulatory effect of IFN-κ, a novel type I IFN, on cytokine production by cells of the innate immune system

Bernardetta Nardelli, Liubov Zaritskaya, Mark Semenuk, Yun Hee Cho, David W. LaFleur, Devanshi Shah, Stephen Ullrich, Giampiero Girolomoni, Cristina Albanesi, Paul A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IFN-κ is a recently identified type I IFN that exhibits both structural and functional homology with the other type I IFN subclasses. In this study, we have investigated the effect of IFN-κ on cells of the innate immune system by comparing cytokine release following treatment of human cells with either IFN-κ or two recombinant IFN subtypes, IFN-β and IFN-α2a. Although IFN-α2a failed to stimulate monocyte cytokine secretion, IFN-κ, like IFN-β, induced the release of several cytokines from both monocytes and dendritic cells, without the requirement of a costimulatory signal. IFN-κ was particularly effective in inhibiting inducible IL-12 release from monocytes. Unlike IFN-β, IFN-κ did not induce release of IFN-γ by PBL. Expression of the IFN-κ mRNA was observed in resting dendritic cells and monocytes, and it was up-regulated by IFN-γ stimulation in monocytes, while IFN-β mRNA was minimally detectable under the same conditions. Monocyte and dendritic cell expression of IFN-κ was also confirmed in vivo in chronic lesions of psoriasis vulgaris and atopic dermatitis. Finally, biosensor-based binding kinetic analysis revealed that IFN-κ, like IFN-β, binds strongly to heparin (Kd: 2.1 nM), suggesting that the cytokine can be retained close to the local site of production. The pattern of cytokines induced by IFN-κ in monocytes, coupled with the unique induction of IFN-κ mRNA by IFN-γ, indicates a potential role for IFN-κ in the regulation of immune cell functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4822-4830
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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