Interferons (IFN) are subdivided into type I IFN (IFN-I, here synonymous with IFN-α/β), type II (IFN-γ) and type III IFN (IFN-III/IFN-λ) that reprogram nuclear gene expression through STATs 1 and 2 by forming STAT1 dimers (mainly IFN-γ) or the ISGF3 complex, a STAT1-STAT2-IRF9 heterotrimer (IFN-I and IFN-III). Dominant IFN activities in the immune system are to protect cells from viral replication and to activate macrophages for enhanced effector function. However, the impact of IFN and their STATs on the immune system stretches far beyond these activities and includes the control of inflammation. The goal of this review is to give an overview of the different facets of the inflammatory process that show regulatory input by IFN/STAT.
Keywords: STAT; autoimmune; chemokine; inflammasome; inflammation; interferon; leukocyte; nitric oxide.