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J Immunol. 2008 Nov 15;181(10):7214-20.

IL-10 and TGF-beta redundantly protect against severe liver injury and mortality during acute schistosomiasis.

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Research Service (151), Cincinnati Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45220, USA.


The cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta regulate immunity and inflammation. IL-10 is known to suppress the extent of hepatic damage caused by parasite ova during natural infection with Schistosoma mansoni, but the role of TGF-beta is less clear. Cytokine blockade studies in mice revealed that anti-IL-10R mAb treatment during acute infection modestly increased cytokine production and liver damage, whereas selective anti-TGF-beta mAb treatment had marginal effects. In contrast, mice administered both mAbs developed severe hepatic inflammation, with enlarged, necrotic liver granulomas, cachexia, and >80% mortality by 8 wk postinfection, despite increased numbers of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells. Blocking both IL-10 and TGF-beta at the onset of egg production also significantly increased IL-4, IL-6, TNF, IFN-gamma, and IL-17 production and markedly increased hepatic, peritoneal, and splenic neutrophilia. In contrast, coadministration of anti-IL-10R and TGF-beta mAbs had little effect upon parasite ova-induced intestinal pathology or development of alternatively activated macrophages, which are required to suppress intestinal pathology. This suggests that inflammation is controlled during acute S. mansoni infection by two distinct, organ-specific mechanisms: TGF-beta and IL-10 redundantly suppress hepatic inflammation while intestinal inflammation is regulated by alternatively activated macrophages.

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