IFITM proteins drive type 2 T helper cell differentiation and exacerbate allergic airway inflammation

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Abstract

he interferon-inducible transmembrane (Ifitm/Fragilis) genes encode homologous proteins that are induced by IFNs. Here, we show that IFITM proteins regulate murine CD4+ Th cell differentiation. Ifitm2 and Ifitm3 are expressed in wild-type (WT) CD4+ T cells. On activation, Ifitm3 was downregulated and Ifitm2 was upregulated. Resting Ifitm-family-deficient CD4+ T cells had higher expression of Th1-associated genes than WT and purified naive Ifitm-family-deficient CD4+ T cells differentiated more efficiently to Th1, whereas Th2 differentiation was inhibited. Ifitm-family-deficient mice, but not Ifitm3-deficient mice, were less susceptible than WT to induction of allergic airways disease, with a weaker Th2 response and less severe disease and lower Il4 but higher Ifng expression and IL-27 secretion. Thus, the Ifitm family is important in adaptive immunity, influencing Th1/Th2 polarization, and Th2 immunopathology.

© 2018, The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018

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