Reciprocal responsiveness to interleukin-12 and interferon-specifies human CD8 effector versus central memory T-cell fates




Ramos, Hilario J.
Davis, Ann M.
Cole, Alexander G.
Schatzle, John D.
Forman, James
Farrar, J. David

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Ash Publications


Multiple innate signals regulate the genesis of effector and memory CD8+ T cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the innate cytokines interleukin (IL)–12 and interferon (IFN)–α/β regulate distinct aspects of effector and memory human CD8+ T-cell differentiation. IL-12 exclusively promoted the development of IFN-γ– and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–α–secreting T effector memory (TEM) cells, whereas IFN-α drove the development of T central memory (TCM) cells. The development of TEM and TCM was linked to cell division. In rapidly dividing cells, IL-12 programmed TEM through induction of the IL-12 receptor β2. In contrast, IFN-α regulated TCM development by slowing the progression of cell division in a subpopulation of cells that selectively expressed elevated IFN-α/β receptor-2. The strength of signal delivered through T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement regulated the responsiveness of cells to IL-12 and IFN-α. In the presence of both IL-12 and IFN-α, these cytokine signals were amplified as the strength of the TCR signal was increased, promoting the simultaneous development of both TCM and TEM. Together, our results support a novel model in which IL-12 and IFN-α act in a nonredundant manner to regulate the colinear generation of both effector and memory cells.



Cytokine, Interferons, Interleukin-12, T-lymphocytes, Memory, Interleukin-12 receptor


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Ramos, H. J., Davis, A. M., Cole, A. G., Schatzle, J. D., Forman, J., & Farrar, J. D. (2009). Reciprocal responsiveness to interleukin-12 and interferon-α specifies human CD8+ effector versus central memory T-Cell Fates. Blood, 113(22), 5516–5525. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.