Type i interferons potently enhance humoral immunity and can promote isotype switching by stimulating dendritic cells in vivo

Immunity. 2001 Apr;14(4):461-70. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(01)00126-1.


Type I interferons (IFN-I) are rapidly induced following infection and play a key role in nonspecific inhibition of virus replication. Here we have investigated the effects of IFN-I on the generation of antigen-specific antibody responses. The data show that IFN-I potently enhance the primary antibody response to a soluble protein, stimulating the production of all subclasses of IgG, and induce long-lived antibody production and immunological memory. In addition, endogenous production of IFN-I was shown to be essential for the adjuvant activity of CFA. Finally, IFN-I enhanced the antibody response and induced isotype switching when dendritic cells were the only cell type responding to IFN-I. The data reveal the potent adjuvant activity of IFN-I and their important role in linking innate and adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching / drug effects*
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Interferon Type I / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Poly I-C / pharmacology
  • gamma-Globulins / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Interferon Type I
  • gamma-Globulins
  • Poly I-C