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Cytokine. 2013 Jan;61(1):304-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.10.013. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Interleukin-10 activates Toll-like receptor 4 and requires MyD88 for cardiomyocyte survival.

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  • 1Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Department of Physiology, St. Boniface Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R2H 2A6.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are important in a variety of inflammatory diseases including acute cardiac disorders. TLR4 innate signaling regulates the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10) upon TLR4 agonists' re-stimulation. Anti-apoptotic action of IL-10 in cardiac dysfunction is generally accepted but its protective mechanism through TLR4 is not yet understood. We studied the effect of IL-10 in the activation of TLR4 downstream signals leading to cardiomyocytes survival. IL-10 caused a significant increase in the expression of CD14, MyD88 and TLR4. TLR4 activation led to the translocation of the interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) into the nucleus. Phosphorylation of IRF3 enhanced mRNA synthesis for IL-1β but not TNF-α and was elevated even after removal of IL-10 stimulation. Furthermore, degradation of inhibitory kappa B (IκB) kinase (Ikk) suggested that IκBβ was the main activating kinase for IRF3-regulated NF-κB activation and phosphorylation of p65. Phosphorylated NF-κB p65 was translocated into the nucleus. Concomitantly, an increase in Bcl-xL activity inhibited Bax and the proteolytic activity of caspase 3 as well as a decrease in PARP cleavage. An inhibition of MyD88, modulated the above listed responses to IL-10 as there was a decrease in TLR4 and IRF3 and an increase in TNF-α mRNA. This was associated with a decrease in NF-κB p65, Bcl-xL mRNA and protein levels as well as there was an activation of Bax and PARP cleavage independent of caspase 3 activation. These data in cardiomyocytes suggest that IL-10 induced anti-apoptotic signaling involves upregulation of TLR4 through MyD88 activation.

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