UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology; Program in Immunology and Virology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes; Humans; *Immunity, Cellular; Interferon Type I; Virus Diseases; Viruses


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Type 1 interferons (IFNs) were the first cytokines discovered and include IFNβ, more than ten forms of IFNα, and several other related molecules that all bind to the same type 1 IFN receptor (IFN1R). Type 1 IFNs are commonly referred to as “viral” IFNs because they can be induced directly by virus infections, in contrast to “immune” IFN, or IFNγ, which is synthesized after receptor engagement of T cells and natural killer (NK) cells during immune responses. Type 1 IFNs get induced by viral nucleic acids and proteins acting on cellular signaling molecules such as Toll-like receptors and RNA helicases, which, in turn, release transcription factors into the nucleus. Mice lacking IFN1R appear normal in a pathogen-free environment but are extraordinarily susceptible to virus infections. This susceptibility is partially due to IFN-regulated genes that suppress viral replication, but type 1 IFNs also have many immunoregulatory properties that could also affect host susceptibility to infection.

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Copyright: © 2012 Welsh et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Welsh RM, Bahl K, Marshall HD, Urban SL (2012) Type 1 Interferons and Antiviral CD8 T-Cell Responses. PLoS Pathog 8(1): e1002352. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002352. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS pathogens

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID