Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are innate immune cells and potent producers of interferon alpha (IFNα). Regulation of pDCs is crucial for prevention of aberrant IFN production. Transcription factor E2-2 (TCF4) regulates pDC development and function, but mechanisms of E2- 2 control have not been investigated. We used freshly-isolated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with toll-like receptor 7, 9, and 4 agonists to determine which factors regulate E2-2. After activation, pDCs decreased E2-2 expression. E2-2 downregulation occurred during the upregulation of costimulatory markers, after maximal IFN production. In congruence with previous reports in mice, we found that primary human pDCs that maintained high E2-2 levels produced more IFN, and had less expression of costimulatory markers. Stimulation of purified pDCs did not lead to E2-2 downregulation; therefore, we investigated if cytokine signaling regulates E2-2 expression. We found that tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) produced by monocytes caused decreased E2-2 expression. All together, we established that primary human pDCs decrease E2-2 in response to TNFα and E2-2 low pDCs produce less IFN but exhibit more costimulatory molecules. Altered expression of E2-2 may represent a mechanism to attenuate IFN production and increase activation of the adaptive immune compartment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases
- Plasmacytoid dendritic cell
- Transcriptional regulation