Type I interferons (alpha/beta) in immunity and autoimmunity

Annu Rev Immunol. 2005;23:307-36. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.23.021704.115843.

Abstract

The significance of type I interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) in biology and medicine renders research on their activities continuously relevant to our understanding of normal and abnormal (auto) immune responses. This relevance is bolstered by discoveries that unambiguously establish IFN-alpha/beta, among the multitude of cytokines, as dominant in defining qualitative and quantitative characteristics of innate and adaptive immune processes. Recent advances elucidating the biology of these key cytokines include better definition of their complex signaling pathways, determination of their importance in modifying the effects of other cytokines, the role of Toll-like receptors in their induction, their major cellular producers, and their broad and diverse impact on both cellular and humoral immune responses. Consequently, the role of IFN-alpha/beta in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity remains at the forefront of scientific inquiry and has begun to illuminate the mechanisms by which these molecules promote or inhibit systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interferon Type I / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interferon / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors

Substances

  • Interferon Type I
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta