Cells respond to infection by sensing pathogens and communicating danger signals to noninfected neighbors; however, little is known about this complex spatiotemporal process. Here we show that activation of the innate immune system by double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) triggers intercellular communication through a gap junction-dependent signaling pathway, recruiting colonies of cells to collectively secrete antiviral and inflammatory cytokines for the propagation of danger signals across the tissue at large. By using live-cell imaging of a stable IRF3-sensitive GFP reporter, we demonstrate that dsDNA sensing leads to multicellular colonies of IRF3-activated cells that express the majority of secreted cytokines, including IFNβ and TNFα. Inhibiting gap junctions decreases dsDNA-induced IRF3 activation, cytokine production, and the resulting tissue-wide antiviral state, indicating that this immune response propagation pathway lies upstream of the paracrine action of secreted cytokines and may represent a host-derived mechanism for evading viral antiinterferon strategies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 4 2009|
- Innate immunity
ASJC Scopus subject areas