Interferon-β specifically inhibits interferon-γ-induced class II major histocompatibility complex gene transcription in a human astrocytoma cell line

Richard M. Ransohoff, C. Devajyothi, Melinda L. Estes, Gerald Babcock, Richard A. Rudick, Elliot Frohman, Barbara P. Barna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations


We established cultures of human astrocytes and astrocytoma cells from surgical specimens, to study regulation of class II major histocompatibility (MHC) complex antigen expression by interferons. Using these cultures we previously showed that expression of the class II MHC determinant HLA-DR could be induced by interferon-γ and this induction was inhibited by interferon-β. In this report, we extend these observations by showing that the inhibitory effect of interferon-β on interferon-γ induction of the class II MHC gene HLA-DRα was exerted at the transcriptional level, as documented by nuclear run-on experiments and confirmed with blot hybridization analysis. Astrocyte expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) was induced efficiently by interferon-γ, but not in interferon-β, and induction of ICAM-1 expression by interferon-γ could not be impaired by interferon-β, suggesting that the suppressive effect on induction of HLA-DR was relatively gene-specific. Furthermore, interferon-β did not antagonize interferon-γ induction of HLA-DR expression in human monocytes, suggesting that the inhibition observed in astrocytes was relatively tissue-specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991



  • Class II major histocompatibility complex gene regulation
  • Glial cell
  • Intercellular adhesion molecule-1
  • Interferon action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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