Dr. Cheng Li published a paper in Cell Reports with his collaborator.
Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that are involved in controlling tumors or microbial infections through the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ). Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) inhibits IFN-γ secretion by NK cells, but the mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. Here, by comparing the multi-omics profiles of human NK cells before and after in vivo G-CSF treatment, we identify a pathway that is activated in response to G-CSF treatment, which suppresses IFN-γ secretion in NK cells. Specifically, glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) activated by G-CSF inhibit secretion of IFN-γ by promoting interactions between SOCS1 promoters and enhancers, as well as increasing the expression of SOCS1. Experiments in mice confirm that G-CSF treatment significantly downregulates IFN-γ secretion and upregulates GR and SOCS1 expression in NK cells. In addition, GR blockade by the antagonist RU486 significantly reverses the effects of G-CSF, demonstrating that GRs upregulate SOCS1 and inhibit the production of IFN-γ by NK cells.