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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1997 Dec;17(12):781-8.

Interleukin-10 functions in vitro and in vivo to inhibit bacterial DNA-induced secretion of interleukin-12.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242-1009, USA.


Bacterial DNA (bDNA) has a number of biologic properties, including the ability to induce interleukin-12 (IL-12) production by macrophages. We studied the role of the regulatory cytokine IL-10 as a potential inhibitor of bDNA-induced IL-12 production. IL-10 concentrations as low as 0.3 ng/ml profoundly inhibited bDNA-induced macrophage IL-12 production as measured by Elispot analysis of IL-12 p40-secreting cells. Additionally, we found that IL-10 inhibited bDNA-induced IL-12 secretion by the macrophage cell lines J774 and RAW 264. Preincubation of splenic adherent cells with IL-10 markedly reduced bDNA-induced transcription of IL-12 p40 mRNA. Interestingly, after 2 h of exposure, bDNA also induces transcription of IL-10 mRNA by splenic adherent cells. The importance of IL-10 in the in vivo regulation of bDNA-induced cytokine secretion was illustrated by the response of mice with disrupted IL-10 genes (IL-10 ko mice) to i.v. bDNA challenge. Compared to +/+ mice, IL-10 knockout (ko) mice exhibited increased numbers of IL-12 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-secreting cells following either single or repeated challenge with bDNA. These findings indicate that IL-10 plays a key role in regulating bDNA-induced production of inflammatory cytokines.

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