We found that a clinically relevant concentration of rapamycin inhibits innate as well as adaptive immune functions of TLR-activated human PDC, but with two exceptions: (1) it enhances the ability of TLR-7-stimulated PDC to stimulate
CD4+ T cell proliferation by enhancing CD80 expression; and (2) it enhances the ability of TLR-7-stimulated PDC to induce CD4+FoxP3+ Treg, while it leaves their capacity to generate functional CD8+ Treg unaffected. Rapamycin inhibited IFN-α secretion by PDC effectively in the case of TLR-7 stimulation, but only Talazoparib mouse a minor inhibitory effect was observed upon TLR-9 stimulation despite effective suppression of mTOR-signalling in TLR-9-stimulated PDC. This observation is of critical importance for emerging studies on rapamycin treatment of autoimmune diseases caused by chronic stimulation of IFN-α production by PDC, such as SLE and psoriasis [18, 28]. In these diseases, PDC are stimulated continuously by immune complexes comprising self-DNA and RNA.
While RNA complexes are sensed by TLR-7, DNA complexes are sensed by TLR-9 in the early endosomes, such as CpG-A. Our results predict HKI-272 that rapamycin treatment can ameliorate overproduction of IFN which is induced by self-RNA complexes, but not self-DNA-driven IFN production. Similarly, our findings suggest that rapamycin treatment may abrogate the early IFN-α response to RNA viruses which are sensed by TLR-7, such as influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and hepatitis
C virus (HCV), thereby enhancing susceptibility to these viruses, but not to DNA-viruses sensed by TLR-9. Cao et al.  also reported that rapamycin, in Amylase the same concentration as we used in the present study, inhibits CpG-A ODN 2336-induced IFN-α production by human PDC less efficiently compared to loxoribine-induced IFN-α production. Nevertheless, these authors reported a twofold inhibition, while we observed only 20% inhibition of CpG-A ODN 2336-induced IFN-α secretion. One explanation for this difference may be related to the use of different IFN-α ELISA kits with different sensitivities for IFN-α subtypes. The ELISA that we used detects the main subtypes IFN-α2a, IFN-α2b and IFN-α2c. In addition to its well-known immunosuppressive effects, recent studies revealed immunostimulatory effects of rapamycin, such as stimulation of proinflammatory cytokine production in myeloid cells  and promotion of CD8+ memory T cell differentiation [31, 32]. The data presented here add to the emerging contrasting effects of rapamycin on the immune system. Immunogenic functions of PDC that are inhibited by rapamycin include: proinflammatory cytokine production, IFN-α secretion induced by TRL-7 ligation and the capacity to stimulate proinflammatory cytokine production in allogeneic T cells. Conversely, rapamycin enhances the capacity of TLR-7-activated PDC to stimulate CD4+ T cell expansion, and inhibits the ability of TLR-engaged PDC to stimulate IL-10 secretion by T cells.