T helper 2 cells regulate inflammatory responses to helminth infections while also mediating pathological processes of asthma and allergy. IL-4 promotes Th2 development by inducing the expression of the GATA3 transcription factor, and the Th2 phenotype is stabilized by a GATA3-dependent autoregulatory loop. In this study, we found that type I IFN(IFN-α/β) blocked human Th2 development and inhibited cytokine secretion from committed Th2 cells. This negative regulatory pathway was operative in human but not mouse CD4+ T cells and was selective to type I IFN, as neither IFN-γ nor IL-12 mediated such inhibition. IFN-α/β blocked Th2 cytokine secretion through the inhibition of GATA3 during Th2 development and in fully committed Th2 cells. Ectopic expression of GATA3 via retrovirus did not overcome IFN-α/β - mediated inhibition of Th2 commitment. Thus, we demonstrate a novel role for IFN-α/β in blocking Th2 cells, suggesting its potential as a promising therapy for atopy and asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy