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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Mar 15;122(1-2):57-64. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Characterization of monoclonal antibodies to equine interleukin-10 and detection of T regulatory 1 cells in horses.

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Interleukin-10 (IL-10) terminates inflammatory immune responses and inhibits activation and effector functions of T-cells, monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. IL-10 has also been found to be a key cytokine expressed by subpopulations of regulatory T-cells. In this report, we describe the generation and characterization of three monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to equine IL-10. The antibodies were found to be specific for equine IL-10 using different recombinant equine cytokine/IgG fusion proteins. Two of the anti-equine IL-10 mAbs were selected for ELISA to detect secreted IL-10 in supernatants of mitogen stimulated equine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The sensitivity of the ELISA for detecting secreted IL-10 was found to be around 200pg/ml. The production of intracellular IL-10 was measured in equine PBMC by flow cytometry. PBMC were stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and ionomycin in the presence of the secretion blocker Brefeldin A. All three anti-IL-10 mAbs detected a positive population in PMA stimulated lymphocytes which was absent in the medium controls. Around 80% of the IL-10(+) cells were CD4(+). Another 15% were CD8(+) cells. Double staining with IL-4 or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) indicated that PMA and ionomycin stimulation induced 80% IL-10(+)/IFN-gamma(+) lymphocytes, while only 5% IL-10(+)/IL-4(+) cells were observed. By calculation, at least 60% of the IL-10(+)/IFN-gamma(+) cells were CD4(+) lymphocytes. This expression profile corresponds to the recently described T regulatory 1 (T(R)1) cell phenotype. In summary, the new mAbs to equine IL-10 detected native equine IL-10 by ELISA and flow cytometry and can be used for further characterization of this important regulatory cytokine in horses.

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