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IFN regulatory factor 8 represses GM-CSF expression in T cells to affect myeloid cell lineage differentiation.

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Andrew MellorORCiD


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During hematopoiesis, hematopoietic stem cells constantly differentiate into granulocytes and macrophages via a distinct differentiation program that is tightly controlled by myeloid lineage-specific transcription factors. Mice with a null mutation of IFN regulatory factor 8 (IRF8) accumulate CD11b(+)Gr1(+) myeloid cells that phenotypically and functionally resemble tumor-induced myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), indicating an essential role of IRF8 in myeloid cell lineage differentiation. However, IRF8 is expressed in various types of immune cells, and whether IRF8 functions intrinsically or extrinsically in regulation of myeloid cell lineage differentiation is not fully understood. In this study, we report an intriguing finding that, although IRF8-deficient mice exhibit deregulated myeloid cell differentiation and resultant accumulation of CD11b(+)Gr1(+) MDSCs, surprisingly, mice with IRF8 deficiency only in myeloid cells exhibit no abnormal myeloid cell lineage differentiation. Instead, mice with IRF8 deficiency only in T cells exhibited deregulated myeloid cell differentiation and MDSC accumulation. We further demonstrated that IRF8-deficient T cells exhibit elevated GM-CSF expression and secretion. Treatment of mice with GM-CSF increased MDSC accumulation, and adoptive transfer of IRF8-deficient T cells, but not GM-CSF-deficient T cells, increased MDSC accumulation in the recipient chimeric mice. Moreover, overexpression of IRF8 decreased GM-CSF expression in T cells. Our data determine that, in addition to its intrinsic function as an apoptosis regulator in myeloid cells, IRF8 also acts extrinsically to repress GM-CSF expression in T cells to control myeloid cell lineage differentiation, revealing a novel mechanism that the adaptive immune component of the immune system regulates the innate immune cell myelopoiesis in vivo.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Paschall AV, Zhang R, Bardhan K, Qi C-F, Peng L, Lu G, Yang J, Merad M, McGaha TL, Zhou G, Mellor AL, Abrams SI, Morse HC, Ozato K, Xiong H, Liu K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Immunology

Year: 2015

Volume: 194

Issue: 5

Pages: 2369-2379

Print publication date: 01/03/2015

Online publication date: 02/02/2015

Acceptance date: 30/12/2014

ISSN (print): 0022-1767

ISSN (electronic): 1550-6606

Publisher: American Association of Immunologists


DOI: 10.4049/​jimmunol.1402412

PubMed id: 25646302


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