Regulation of human intestinal T-cell responses by type 1 interferon-STAT1 signaling is disrupted in inflammatory bowel disease

Edward M. Giles, Theodore. J. Sanders, N. E. McCarthy, J. Lung, M. Pathak, T. T. Macdonald, J. O. Lindsay, Andrew J Stagg

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Type 1 interferon (IFN-1) promotes regulatory T-cell function to suppress inflammation in the mouse intestine, but little is known about IFN-1 in the human gut. We therefore assessed the influence of IFN-1 on CD4+ T-cells isolated from human colon tissue obtained from healthy controls or patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Immunofluorescent imaging revealed constitutive expression of IFNβ in human intestinal tissue, and colonic T-cells were responsive to exogenous IFN-1 as assessed by phosphorylation of signal transduction and activator of transcription 1 (pSTAT1) and induction of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). Unlike their blood counterparts, intestinal T-cells from non-inflamed regions of IBD colon displayed enhanced responsiveness to IFN-1, increased frequency of pSTAT1+ cells, and greater induction of ISGs upon IFN-1 exposure in vitro. In healthy tissue, antibody neutralization of IFNβ selectively reduced T-cell production of the pro-regulatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) and increased IFNγ synthesis. In contrast, neutralization of IFNβ in IBD tissue cultures increased the frequency of T-cells producing inflammatory cytokines but did not alter IL-10 expression. These data support a role for endogenous IFN-1 as a context-dependent modulator of T-cell function that promotes regulatory activity in healthy human intestine, but indicate that the IFN-1/STAT1 pathway is dysregulated in inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalMucosal Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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