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PloS one

Interferon beta and vitamin D synergize to induce immunoregulatory receptors on peripheral blood monocytes of multiple sclerosis patients.


PMID 25551576

Abstract

Immunoglobulin-like transcript (ILT) 3 and 4 are inhibitory receptors that modulate immune responses. Their expression has been reported to be affected by interferon, offering a possible mechanism by which this cytokine exerts its therapeutic effect in multiple sclerosis, a condition thought to involve excessive immune activity. To investigate this possibility, we measured expression of ILT3 and ILT4 on immune cells from multiple sclerosis patients, and in post-mortem brain tissue. We also studied the ability of interferon beta, alone or in combination with vitamin D, to induce upregulation of these receptors in vitro, and compared expression levels between interferon-treated and untreated multiple sclerosis patients. In vitro interferon beta treatment led to a robust upregulation of ILT3 and ILT4 on monocytes, and dihydroxyvitamin D3 increased expression of ILT3 but not ILT4. ILT3 was abundant in demyelinating lesions in postmortem brain, and expression on monocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid was higher than in peripheral blood, suggesting that the central nervous system milieu induces ILT3, or that ILT3 positive monocytes preferentially enter the brain. Our data are consistent with involvement of ILT3 and ILT4 in the modulation of immune responsiveness in multiple sclerosis by both interferon and vitamin D.