Synergistic production of TNFα and IFNα by human pDCs incubated with IFNλ3 and IL-3

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In this study, we investigated whether IFNλ3 and IL-3 reciprocally influence their capacity to activate various functions of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). In fact, we preliminarily observed that IFNλ3 upregulates the expression of the IL-3Rα (CD123), while IL-3 augments the expression of IFNλR1 in pDCs. As a result, we found that combination of IFNλ3 and IL-3 induces a strong potentiation in the production of TNFα, IFNα, as well as in the expression of Interferon-Stimulated Gene (ISG) mRNAs by pDCs, as compared to either IFNλ3 or IL-3 alone. In such regard, we found that endogenous IFNα autocrinally promotes the expression of ISG mRNAs in IL-3-, but not in IFNλ3 plus IL-3-, treated pDCs. Moreover, we uncovered that the production of IFNα by IFNλ3 plus IL-3-treated pDCs is mostly dependent on endogenously produced TNFα. Altogether, our data demonstrate that IFNλ3 and IL-3 collaborate to promote, at maximal levels, discrete functional responses of human pDCs.

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