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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7462945, 12 pages
Research Article

TSG-6 Downregulates IFN-Alpha and TNF-Alpha Expression by Suppressing IRF7 Phosphorylation in Human Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to P. P. W. Lee

Received 7 November 2016; Revised 17 January 2017; Accepted 14 February 2017; Published 6 March 2017

Academic Editor: Soh Yamazaki

Copyright © 2017 L. Kui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and type I interferons (IFN) are pathogenic signatures of systemic lupus erythematosus, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a major role by predominantly producing IFN-α. Given the rise of importance in identifying tumor necrosis stimulated gene 6 (TSG-6) as a key anti-inflammatory regulator, we investigate its function and its ability to counteract proinflammatory cytokine secretion by pDCs in vitro. CpG-A and R837 induced significant endogenous TSG-6 expression in the pDC cell-line GEN2.2. Following recombinant human TSG-6 treatment and CpG-A or R837 stimulation, significant reduction in IFN-α and TNF-α was observed in healthy donors’ pDCs, and the same phenomenon was confirmed in GEN2.2. By CD44 blocking assay, we deduced that the suppressive effect of TSG-6 is mediated by CD44, by reducing IRF-7 phosphorylation. Our findings suggest that TSG-6 and its downstream signalling pathway could potentially be targeted to modulate proinflammatory cytokine expression in pDCs.