The interleukin-12 (IL-12) family comprises the only heterodimeric cytokines mediating diverse functional effects. We previously reported a striking bimodal IL-12p70 response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in healthy donors. Herein, we demonstrate that interferon β (IFNβ) is a major upstream determinant of IL-12p70 production, which is also associated with numbers and activation of circulating monocytes. Integrative modeling of proteomic, genetic, epigenomic, and cellular data confirms IFNβ as key for LPS-induced IL-12p70 and allowed us to compare the relative effects of each of these parameters on variable cytokine responses. Clinical relevance of our findings is supported by reduced IFNβ-IL-12p70 responses in patients hospitalized with acute severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV). Importantly, these responses are resolved after viral clearance. Our systems immunology approach defines a better understanding of IL-12p70 and IFNβ in healthy and infected persons, providing insights into how common genetic and epigenetic variation may impact immune responses to bacterial infection.
Keywords: CP: Immunology; Cytokine variability; IL-12p70; TLR4 immune responses; systems immunology; type I interferons.
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.