Non-Redundant Requirement for CXCR3 Signaling for Effective Treatment of CNS Autoimmunity with Type I IFNs

Weiwei Wang, Wai Po Chong, Chunmei Li, Ying Chen, Zilin Chen, Hongyan Zhou, Ying Wan, Wanjun Chen, Igal Gery, Rachel Caspi, Yizhi Liu, Jun Chen

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Type I interferons (IFNs) have shown therapeutic potential in treating CNS autoimmune diseases (IFN-β for multiple sclerosis and IFN-α for uveitis), but treatment is not always effective. Here, we describe a non-redundant requirement for GαI-coupled CXCR3 in the immunomodulatory actions of type I IFNs that culminates in the suppression of human uveitis and experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). Effective treatment with IFN-α/β inhibited autopathogenic CD4+ T cell migration to effector sites in mice by upregulating expression of the cognate ligands CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11, causing ligand-mediated downregulation of CXCR3 expression and effector T cell retention in the spleen. These effects of IFN-α/β also required IFN-γ. In the absence of CXCR3 signaling, type I IFN was ineffective in active EAU. In patients with uveitis, disease exacerbations associated with reduced serum IFN-α concentrations. Importantly, IFN-α/β reduced CXCR3 expression and human effector T cell migration, and these parameters markedly associated with IFN-α therapeutic efficacy in uveitis patients. Our findings provide new insights into the molecular basis of type I IFN therapy for CNS autoimmune diseases and identify CXCR3 as a critical biomarker for effective immunotherapy with type I IFNs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages57
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameCell Press Sneak Peak
PublisherCell Press


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