close Icon

Production of interferons by dendritic cells, plasmacytoid cells, natural killer cells, and interferon-producing killer dendritic cells.

Vremec D, O'Keeffe M, Hochrein H, Fuchsberger M, Caminschi I, Lahoud M, Shortman K

  • Journal Blood

  • Published 12 Oct 2006

  • Volume 109

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 1165-73

  • DOI 10.1182/blood-2006-05-015354


The capacity of mouse spleen conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) to produce interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or IFN-alpha was assessed, and compared with that of natural killer (NK) cells and the recently identified interferon-producing killer dendritic cells (IKDCs), both of which are frequent contaminants in DC preparations. Fully developed cDCs or pDCs, if free of NK cells or IKDCs, showed little capacity for IFN-gamma production. However, an early developmental form of the CD4-8+ cDC subtype, and the Ly6C- Ly49Q- pDC subtype, both were able to produce moderate amounts of IFN-gamma, although less than IKDCs. In response to toll-like receptor 9 stimuli, both the Ly6C+ Ly49Q+ and the Ly6C- Ly49Q- pDC subtypes were effective producers of IFN-alpha. However, IKDCs, which efficiently produced IFN-gamma and showed immediate cytotoxicity on NK target cells, did not produce IFN-alpha under these conditions.