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Immunology. 1999 Sep;98(1):80-9.

Interleukin-10-induced CD8 cell proliferation.

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Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Bristol,UK


Interleukin (IL)-10, a product of T helper 2 (Th2) lymphocytes, has been shown to be an important regulator of lymphoid and myeloid cells, inhibiting mitogen, peptide and alloantigen-induced T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production. The microenvironment at the time of cell activation, notably the presence or absence of cytokines such as IL-10, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-2, is believed to determine the lineage and magnitude of cell-mediated responses. In this study, we show that recombinant human IL-10 (rhIL-10) exerts a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated in vitro, when these cells have not previously been exposed to rhIL-10. Furthermore, incubation of these cells with high doses of rhIL-10, either before or at the time of activation, results in inhibition which is followed several days later by the emergence of a population of CD8 positive cells. This rhIL-10-responsive CD8, positive cell population still emerges even when the cells are washed following incubation with rhIL-10 prior to cell activation. Using purified CD8 populations this was shown to be a direct action of rhIL-10 on CD8 cells and not via CD4 positive cells and monocytes. This finding was only observed when cells were activated with a cross-linking anti-CD3 antibody and not when activated with phorbol-12-mystrate-13-acetate (PMA) and calcium ionophore (CaIon), suggesting that the effect is mediated through cell-surface receptors. Analysis of CD8 positive clones reveal production of Tc2 patterns of cytokines and reduced cell cytotoxicity to allogeneic, natural killer and lymphokine activated cell targets.

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