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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11;108(41):E823-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1107913108. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

B cell-derived IL-10 suppresses inflammatory disease in Lyn-deficient mice.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA. scapini@univr.it


Lyn kinase deficient mice represent a well established genetic model of autoimmune/autoinflammatory disease that resembles systemic lupus erythematosus. We report that IL-10 plays a crucial immunosuppressive role in this model, modulating the inflammatory component of the disease caused by myeloid and T-cell activation. Double-mutant lyn(-/-)IL-10(-/-) mice manifested severe splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy, dramatically increased proinflammatory cytokine production, and severe tissue inflammation. Single-mutant lyn(-/-)mice showed expansion of IL-10-producing B cells. Interestingly, WT B cells adoptively transferred into lyn(-/-) mice showed increased differentiation into IL-10-producing B cells that assumed a similar phenotype to endogenous lyn(-/-) IL-10-producing B cells, suggesting that the inflammatory environment present in lyn(-/-) mice induces IL-10-producing B-cell differentiation. B cells, but not T or myeloid cells, were the critical source of IL-10 able to reduce inflammation and autoimmunity in double mutant lyn(-/-)IL-10(-/-) mice. IL-10 secretion by B cells was also crucial to sustain transcription factor Forkhead Box P3 (Foxp3) expression in regulatory T cells during disease development. These data reveal a dominant immunosuppressive function of B-cell-derived IL-10 in the Lyn-deficient model of autoimmunity, extending our current understanding of the role of IL-10 and IL-10-producing B cells in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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