IFN-gamma production by antigen-presenting cells: mechanisms emerge

Trends Immunol. 2001 Oct;22(10):556-60. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4906(01)02005-1.


The suggestion that antigen-presenting cells (APCs) produce interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) is controversial because it conflicts with the initial paradigm in which the production of IFN-gamma was restricted to lymphoid cells. However, some answers to this skepticism have been provided by recent findings of high-level production and intracellular expression of IFN-gamma by interleukin-12 (IL-12)-stimulated macrophages and dendritic cells. New data are now emerging to explain the mechanism of production of IFN-gamma vby APCs. As in lymphoid cells, IL-12-induced IFN-gamma production in APCs requires signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4), although the precise molecular events that govern the transcription of the gene encoding IFN-gamma are enigmatic still. Understanding these processes in lymphoid, and now nonlymphoid, cells remains an important challenge.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Models, Immunological
  • STAT4 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators / immunology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • STAT4 Transcription Factor
  • STAT4 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Interferon-gamma