Regulation of IFN-γ production by B effector 1 cells: Essential roles for T-bet and the IFN-γ receptor

Academic Article


  • This manuscript systematically identifies the molecular mechanisms that regulate the ability of B cells to produce the critical type 1 cytokine, IFN-γ. B cells produce IFN-γ in response to IL-12 and IL-18 and when primed by Th1 cells. We show that development of IFN-γ-producing B cells by either Th1 cells or IL-12/IL-18 is absolutely dependent on expression of the IFN-γR and the T-box transcription factor, T-bet. Interestingly, although T-bet up-regulation in developing B effector 1 (Be1) cells is controlled by IFN-γR-mediated signals, STAT1-deficient B cells up-regulate T-bet and produce IFN-γ, indicating that additional transcriptional activators must be coupled to the IFN-γ in B cells. Finally, we show that although IL-12/IL-18 or IFN-γ-producing Th1 cells are required to initiate transcription of the IFN-γ gene in B cells, sustained expression of IFN-γ and T-bet by B cells is dependent on an IFN-γ/IFN-γR/T- bet autocrine feedback loop. These findings have significant implications, because they suggest that IFN-γ-producing B cells not only amplify Th1 responses, but also imprint a type 1 phenotype on B cells themselves. In the case of immune responses to bacterial or viral pathogens, this B cell-driven autocrine feedback loop is likely to be beneficial; however, in the case of B cell responses to autoantigens, it may result in amplification of the autoimmune loop and increased pathology. Copyright © 2005 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Harris DP; Goodrich S; Gerth AJ; Peng SL; Lund FE
  • Start Page

  • 6781
  • End Page

  • 6790
  • Volume

  • 174
  • Issue

  • 11