Type I interferon is the primary regulator of inducible Ly-6C expression on T cells

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2001 Aug;21(8):621-9. doi: 10.1089/10799900152547885.


Ly-6C has been proposed as a marker of memory CD8+ T cells. Reports have indicated that Ly-6C is upregulated after T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation or exposure to proinflammatory cytokines. This study examined the relative roles of proinflammatory cytokines and TCR engagement in Ly-6C induction. In vitro experiments tested the effects of cytokines on Ly-6C expression and confirmed interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) as a primary cytokine that induces Ly-6C expression on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. The amount and duration of Ly-6C expression were examined on T cells after in vivo induction of proinflammatory cytokines (CpG oligodeoxynucleotides [ODN]) or TCR activation (staphylococcal enterotoxin B [SEB]). In vivo, proinflammatory cytokines transiently upregulated Ly-6C on T cells in the absence of TCR stimulation. TCR stimulation by SEB transiently upregulated Ly-6C expression on antigen-specific and antigen-nonspecific T cells but did not cause long-term upregulation of Ly-6C expression in either population. IFN-alpha was confirmed as a primary inducer of Ly-6C in vivo, as CpG ODN were unable to induce Ly-6C expression in IFN-alphaRI(-/-) mice. Thus, inducible Ly-6C expression on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells is largely due to IFN-alpha in the environment and appears not to be directly correlated with the development of T cell memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Ly / genetics
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • CpG Islands / immunology
  • Enterotoxins / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / physiology*
  • Interferon-alpha / pharmacology
  • Interferon-gamma / deficiency
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / administration & dosage
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Interferon / deficiency
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation / immunology


  • Antigens, Ly
  • CPG-oligonucleotide
  • Enterotoxins
  • Interferon Type I
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta
  • enterotoxin B, staphylococcal
  • Interferon-gamma