Modulation of MHC class II expression in human cells by dexamethasone

Lisa M. Schwiebert*, Robert P. Schleimer, Susan F. Radka, Santa J. Ono

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The effect of dexamethasone on human MHC class II expression was examined on various cell types including lymphocytes, monocytes, and epithelial cells. Dexamethasone decreased the surface expression of HLA-DR and -DP, but not HLA-DQ, on lymphocytic cell lines that constitutively express these molecules. In addition, dexamethasome down-regulated the mRNA levels of HLA-DRA, but not of HLA-DQB, in Jijoye cells, a human lymphoblastic cell line. Similarly, dexamethasone decreased HLA-DR expression on epithelial and monocytic cell lines that express HLA-DR upon IFN-γ treatment. In total, these results suggest that dexamethasone inhibits both constitutive and IFN-γ-inducible MHC class II expression in several cell types. Moreover, these results indicate that the inhibitory effect of dexamethasone on MHC class II expression is selective for HLA-DR and -DP but not HLA-DQ. Possible mechanisms of dexamethasone-mediated regulation of MHC class II expression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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