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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1995 Aug;15(8):685-90.

Transforming growth factor beta 1 inhibits interleukin-10 mRNA expression and production in pokeweed mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and T cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.


The multifunctional cytokine transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) is known to inhibit the proliferation of lymphocytes. Whether this effect is a result of a direct action of TGF-beta 1 or an involvement of other "immunoinhibitory" cytokines is not yet clear. Here we have analyzed the effects of TGF-beta 1 on IL-10 and IL-1RA production in pokeweed mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and purified T lymphocytes. We show in these systems that TGF-beta 1 at a concentration of 10 ng/ml significantly suppresses both IL-10 mRNA expression and IL-10 production. IL-2 and IL-6 were capable of abolishing the effect of TGF-beta 1 on DNA synthesis and production of IL-10 by T lymphocytes in an additive manner. However, TGF-beta 1 did not influence IL-1RA production in PWM-stimulated PBMC. The present data show that the inhibitory effect of TGF-beta 1 on mitogen-activated immune cells is not the consequence of induction of the inhibitory cytokines IL-10 or IL-1RA but rather an inhibitory action on the production of IL-2 and/or IL-6.

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