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J Immunol. 2001 Apr 1;166(7):4312-8.

Regulatory activity of autocrine IL-10 on dendritic cell functions.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, Italy.


IL-10 is a critical cytokine that blocks the maturation of dendritic cells (DCs), but the relevance of autocrine IL-10 on DC functions has not been investigated. In this study, we found that immature monocyte-derived DCs released low but sizeable amounts of IL-10. After stimulation with bacteria, LPS, lipoteichoic acid, or soluble CD40 ligand, DCs secreted high levels of IL-10. Addition of an anti-IL-10-neutralizing Ab to immature DCs as well as to soluble CD40 ligand- or LPS-maturing DCs led to enhanced expression of surface CD83, CD80, CD86, and MHC molecules and markedly augmented release of TNF-alpha and IL-12, but diminished IL-10 mRNA expression. Moreover, DCs treated with anti-IL-10 Ab showed an increased capacity to activate allogeneic T cells and primed naive T cells to a more prominent Th1 polarization. DC maturation and IL-10 neutralization were associated with enhanced accumulation of the IL-10 receptor binding chain (IL-10R1) mRNA and intracellular IL-10R1 protein. In contrast, surface IL-10R1 and IL-10 binding activity diminished in mature DCs. These results indicate that autocrine IL-10 prevents spontaneous maturation of DCs in vitro, limits LPS- and CD40-mediated maturation, and increases IL-10 production by DCs. Moreover, IL-10R expression appears to be regulated by both transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms. Endogenous IL-10 and IL-10R can be relevant targets for the manipulation of DC functions.

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