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J Immunol. 2010 Dec 1;185(11):6599-607. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1002041. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

Lipopolysaccharide-mediated IL-10 transcriptional regulation requires sequential induction of type I IFNs and IL-27 in macrophages.

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Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


IL-10 is a potent anti-inflammatory molecule that regulates excessive production of inflammatory cytokines during an infection or tissue damage. Dysregulation of IL-10 is associated with a number of autoimmune diseases, and so, understanding the mechanisms by which IL-10 gene expression is regulated remains an important area of study. Macrophages represent a major source of IL-10, which is generated in response to TLR signaling as a feedback mechanism to curtail inflammatory response. In this study, we identify a signaling pathway in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages in which activation of TLR4 by LPS induces the expression of IL-10 through the sequential induction of type I IFNs followed by induction and signaling through IL-27. We demonstrate that IL-27 signaling is required for robust IL-10 induction by LPS and type I IFNs. IL-27 leads directly to transcription of IL-10 through the activation of two required transcription factors, STAT1 and STAT3, which are recruited to the IL-10 promoter. Finally, through systematic functional promoter-reporter analysis, we identify three cis elements within the proximal IL-10 promoter that play an important role in regulating transcription of IL-10 in response to IL-27.

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