Regulation of transcription factor E2-2 in human plasmacytoid dendritic cells by monocyte-derived TNFα

Hannah K. Dewald, Harry J. Hurley, Patricia Fitzgerald-Bocarsly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberv12020162
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


  • E2-2
  • Plasmacytoid dendritic cell
  • TCF4
  • Transcriptional regulation

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