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Nat Immunol. 2011 Apr;12(4):327-34. doi: 10.1038/ni.1996. Epub 2011 Feb 6.

CD4+ T cell help and innate-derived IL-27 induce Blimp-1-dependent IL-10 production by antiviral CTLs.

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The Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-10 is an important regulatory cytokine that can modulate excessive immune mediated injury. Several distinct cell types have been demonstrated to produce IL-10, including most recently CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) responding to respiratory virus infection. Here we report that CD4+ T cell help in the form of IL-2 is required for IL-10 production by CTLs, but not for the induction of CTL effector cytokines. We show that IL-2 derived from CD4+ helper T cells cooperates with innate immune cell-derived IL-27 to amplify IL-10 production by CTLs through a Blimp-1-dependent mechanism. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized pathway that coordinates signals derived from innate and helper T cells to control the production of a regulatory cytokine by CTLs during acute viral infection.

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