Type 2 inflammation is a defining feature of infection with parasitic worms (helminths), as well as being responsible for widespread suffering in allergies. However, the precise mechanisms involved in T helper (Th) 2 polarization by dendritic cells (DCs) are currently unclear. We have identified a previously unrecognized role for type I IFN (IFN-I) in enabling this process. An IFN-I signature was evident in DCs responding to the helminth Schistosoma mansoni or the allergen house dust mite (HDM). Further, IFN-I signaling was required for optimal DC phenotypic activation in response to helminth antigen (Ag), and efficient migration to, and localization with, T cells in the draining lymph node (dLN). Importantly, DCs generated from Ifnar1-/- mice were incapable of initiating Th2 responses in vivo. These data demonstrate for the first time that the influence of IFN-I is not limited to antiviral or bacterial settings but also has a central role to play in DC initiation of Th2 responses.
- Dendritic cell