Disruption of type I interferon pathway and reduced production of IFN-α by parabens in virus-infected dendritic cells

In Gu Lee, Yong Hyun Joo, Hoyeon Jeon, Jung Woong Kim, Young Jin Seo, So Hee Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parabens are widely used preservatives commonly found in foods, cosmetics, and industrial products. Several studies have examined the effects of parabens on human health owing to widespread and continuous exposure to them in daily life. However, little is known about their immune-regulatory effects. Objective: Here, we aimed to investigate whether methylparaben, ethylparaben, and propylparaben affect the function of dendritic cells (DCs) as the most potent antigen-presenting cells that play a critical role in the initiation of adaptive immune responses. Methods: Bone-marrow derived DCs (BMDCs) were treated with three types of parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, and propylparaben) for 12 h. Subsequently, the transcriptomic profile was analyzed using RNA sequencing with further gene set enrichment analysis based on commonly regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs). To test whether parabens suppress the production of type-I interferons (IFN-I) in BMDCs during viral infection, BMDCs or paraben-treated BMDCs were infected with Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) at 10 multiplicity of infection (MOI) and measured the production of IFN-α1. Results: Transcriptomic analyses revealed that all three types of parabens reduced the transcription levels of genes in virus infection-associated pathways, such as IFN-I responses in BMDCs. Furthermore, parabens considerably reduced IFN-α1 production in the virus-infected BMDCs. Conclusion: Our study is the first to show that parabens may modulate anti-viral immune responses by regulating DCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1126
Number of pages10
JournalGenes and Genomics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to The Genetics Society of Korea.


  • Dendritic cells
  • Interferon alpha 1
  • Paraben
  • Type I interferon


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