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Microbes Infect. 1999 Dec;1(14):1169-80.

Antifungal type 1 responses are upregulated in IL-10-deficient mice.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Italy.


C57BL/6 mice are highly resistant to infections caused by Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. To elucidate the role of IL-10 produced by C57BL/6 mice during these infections, parameters of infection and immunity to it were evaluated in IL-10-deficient and wild-type mice with disseminated or gastrointestinal candidiasis or invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Unlike parasitic protozoan infection, C. albicans or A. fumigatus infection did not induce significant acute toxicity in IL-10-deficient mice, who, instead, showed reduced fungal burden and fungal-associated inflammatory responses. The increased resistance to infections as compared to wild-type mice was associated with upregulation of innate and acquired antifungal Th1 responses, such as a dramatically higher production of IL-12, nitric oxide (NO) and TNF-alpha as well as IFN-gamma by CD4+ T cells. Pharmacological inhibition of NO production greatly reduced resistance to gastrointestinal candidiasis, thus pointing to the importance of IL-10-dependent NO regulation at mucosal sites in fungal infections. These results are reminiscent of those obtained in genetically susceptible mice, in which IL-10 administration increased, and IL-10 neutralization decreased, susceptibility to C. albicans and A. fumigatus infections. Collectively, these observations indicate that the absence of IL-10 augments innate and acquired antifungal immunity by upregulating type 1 cytokine responses. The resulting protective Th1 responses lead to a prompt reduction of fungal growth, thus preventing tissue destruction and lethal levels of proinflammatory cytokines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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