Co-activation of JAK/STAT and p38 MAPK pathways by type I interferon enhances apoptosis in human basophils

Hagmann, Björn; Odermatt, Andrea; Eggel, Alexander; Dahinden, Clemens A.; Fux, Michaela (3 April 2013). Co-activation of JAK/STAT and p38 MAPK pathways by type I interferon enhances apoptosis in human basophils (Unpublished). In: 25th Meeting of the Swiss Immunology PhD Students. Wolfsberg. 03.-05.04.2013.

It has previously been published that interferon-α (type I IFN) improves clinical symptoms of asthma patients. Since human basophils are major inflammatory cells in maintaining chronic allergic asthma we investigate whether type I IFN affect human blood basophils. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that spontaneous apoptosis of human basophils is slow due to constitutive expression of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members. In addition, IL-3 exceptionally promotes survival of basophils by enhancing constitutive expression of BCL-2 family members and by inducing de-novo expression of Pim-1 kinase. Thus, we also assessed whether type I IFN might overcome IL-3-induced survival of human basophils.
Our data show that type I IFN enhances apoptosis in purified human blood basophils compared to spontaneous apoptosis of controls or type II IFN treated cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that both type I IFN and FasL enhance apoptosis in human basophils with similar efficiency in a rather additive than synergistic way. Analyses of signaling pathways reveal that type I IFN promote prolonged phosphorylation of STAT1/STAT2. By using a pan-JAK inhibitor the phosphorylation of STAT1/STAT2 is inhibited and most importantly the pro-apoptotic effect of type I IFN is abolished. On the other hand, type I IFN do not reduce IL-3-induced de novo expression of Pim-1 and BCL-2. This is in line with our observation that IL-3-induced survival is dominant over type I IFN-enhanced apoptosis. In addition, phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in type I IFN treated cells is comparable to non-treated cells. Particularly however, inhibition of this p-p38 activity abrogates apoptosis as well.
We conclude that type I IFN-enhanced apoptosis is tightly regulated by the cooperation of JAK/STAT and p38 MAPK pathways. Our study identifies a so far unknown effect of type I IFN and may explain the improved clinical symptoms of asthma patients treated with type I IFN.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute for Immunology [discontinued]

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Hagmann, Björn, Eggel, Alexander, Dahinden, Clemens A., Fux, Michaela


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Dr. Michaela Fux

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2014 13:41

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:30


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