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Immunity. 2008 Apr;28(4):468-76. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.03.003.

Contextual regulation of inflammation: a duet by transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin-10.

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Immunology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) are regulatory cytokines with pleiotropic roles in the immune system. The prominent function of TGF-beta is to maintain T cell tolerance to self or innocuous environmental antigens via its direct effects on the differentiation and homeostasis of effector and regulatory T cells. A critical route for the regulation of T cells by TGF-beta is via activation of a T cell-produced latent form of TGF-beta1 by dendritic cell-expressed avbeta8 integrin. IL-10 operates primarily as a feedback inhibitor of exuberant T cell responses to microbial antigens. T cells are also the principal producers of IL-10, the expression of which is regulated by IL-27, IL-6, and TGF-beta. The collective activity of TGF-beta and IL-10 ensures a controlled inflammatory response specifically targeting pathogens without evoking excessive immunopathology to self-tissues.

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