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Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Dec;122(3):471-6.

IL-10 stimulates production of platelet-activating factor by monocytes of patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

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Cattedra di Nefrologia, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Università di Torino, Divisione di Nefrologia e Dialisi, Ospedale G. Bosco, ASL 4, and Azienda Ospedaliera CTO, Torino, Italy.


IL-10 displays modulatory properties on the synthesis of platelet-activating factor (PAF), a potent inflammatory mediator of vascular injury. Despite the fact that IL-10 is considered to be an anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10 levels correlate with disease activity in SLE. Moreover, in SLE IL-10 is unable to exert its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects. We have investigated the ability of IL-10 to stimulate PAF production from monocytes of SLE patients. Spontaneous and IL-10-stimulated PAF production by peripheral blood monocytes was measured in active (n = 13) and inactive (n = 14) SLE patients and in 15 normal control subjects. We observed that monocytes derived from patients with active SLE, but not from controls or inactive SLE, spontaneously produced significant amounts of PAF. Moreover, IL-10 enhanced the synthesis of PAF from monocytes of active SLE patients only. IL-10-induced PAF production correlated with the severity of the disease and with the extent of proteinuria. These results indicate that IL-10 only stimulates the synthesis of PAF from monocytes of SLE patients when immunologically active, suggesting that IL-10 may possess a paradoxical proinflammatory effect in SLE by promoting the production of PAF, a secondary mediator of inflammation.

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