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The cytokines IL-21 and GM-CSF have opposing regulatory roles in the apoptosis of conventional dendritic cells.


ABSTRACT: Interleukin-21 (IL-21) has broad actions on T and B cells, but its actions in innate immunity are poorly understood. Here we show that IL-21 induced apoptosis of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) via STAT3 and Bim, and this was inhibited by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). ChIP-Seq analysis revealed genome-wide binding competition between GM-CSF-induced STAT5 and IL-21-induced STAT3. Expression of IL-21 in vivo decreased cDC numbers, and this was prevented by GM-CSF. Moreover, repetitive ?-galactosylceramide injection of mice induced IL-21 but decreased GM-CSF production by natural killer T (NKT) cells, correlating with decreased cDC numbers. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of wild-type CD4+ T cells caused more severe colitis with increased DCs and interferon-? (IFN-?)-producing CD4+ T cells in Il21r(-/-)Rag2(-/-) mice (which lack T cells and have IL-21-unresponsive DCs) than in Rag2(-/-) mice. Thus, IL-21 and GM-CSF exhibit cross-regulatory actions on gene regulation and apoptosis, regulating cDC numbers and thereby the magnitude of the immune response.

SUBMITTER: Wan CK 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3705920 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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