Tissue-specific targeting of cytokine unresponsiveness in transgenic mice.
Dighe AS., Campbell D., Hsieh CS., Clarke S., Greaves DR., Gordon S., Murphy KM., Schreiber RD.
The ubiquitous cellular distribution of certain cytokine receptors has hampered attempts to define the physiologically important cell-specific functions of cytokines in vivo. Herein, we report the generation of transgenic mice that express a dominant-negative IFN gamma receptor alpha chain mutant under the control of either the human lysozyme promoter or the murine lck proximal promoter, which display tissue-specific unresponsiveness in the macrophage or T cell compartments, respectively, to the pleiotropic cytokine, IFN gamma. We utilize these mice to identify previously undefined cellular targets of IFN gamma action in the development of a murine antimicrobial response and the mixed lymphocyte reaction. Moreover, we identify the macrophage as a critical responsive cell in manifesting the effects of IFN gamma in regulating CD4+ T helper subset development. These studies thus represent a novel approach to studying the cell-specific actions of an endogenously produced pleiotropic cytokine in vivo.