Production of interferon-gamma by myeloid cells--fact or fancy?

Trends Immunol. 2006 Jun;27(6):282-90. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 May 15.


Myeloid cells are usually viewed as targets rather than producers of interferon (IFN)-gamma. However, since 1993 several studies have suggested that macrophages and dendritic cells can also secrete IFN-gamma in response to various stimuli, which led to the idea of autocrine myeloid-cell activation in innate immunity. Here, we review this concept in the light of recent findings that illustrate the necessity of specific cell markers, cell purity, sensitive single-cell cytokine detection methods, and of further insights into the developmental origin of myeloid and lymphoid cell lineages. We also discuss the possible function of intracellular IFN-gamma in macrophages and the evidence for a protective role of myeloid IFN-gamma in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology


  • Interferon-gamma