Endogenous interferon-α production by differentiating human monocytes regulates expression and function of the IL-2/IL-4 receptor γ chain

Claudine S. Bonder, Kate V.L. Davies, Xiang Liu, Paul J. Hertzog, Joanna M. Woodcock, John J. Finlay-Jones, Prue H. Hart

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMac) and synovial fluid macrophages from inflamed joints differ from monocytes in their responses to interleukin 4 (IL-4). While IL-4 can suppress LPS-induced interleukin β (IL-β) and tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) production by monocytes, IL-4 can suppress LPS-induced IL-1β, but not TNFα production by the more differentiated cells. Recently we reported a correlation between the ability of IL-4 to regulate TNFα production by monocytes and the expression of the IL-4 receptor gamma chain or gamma common (γc chain). Like MDMac, interferon α (IFNα)-treated monocytes expressed less IL-4 receptor γc chain, reduced levels of IL-4-activated STAT6 and IL-4 could not suppress LPS-induced TNFα production. In addition, like monocytes and MDMac, IFNα-treated monocytes expressed normal levels of the IL-4 receptor α chain and IL-4 significantly suppressed LPS-induced IL-1β production. With addition of IFNα-neutralizing antibodies, the ability of IL-4 to suppress LPS-induced TNFα production with prolonged monocyte culture was restored. Detection of IFNα in synovial fluids from inflamed joints further implicates IFNα in the inability of IL-4 to suppress TNFα production by synovial fluid macrophages. This study identifies a mechanism for the differential expression of γc and varied responses to IL-4 by human monocytes compared with MDMac.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Human
  • IFNα
  • IL-2Rγ
  • IL-4
  • Monocytes

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