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J Immunol. 1999 Jan 1;162(1):277-83.

Enhanced epidermal Langerhans cell migration in IL-10 knockout mice.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Sunnybrook Health Science Center, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The migration of epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) to lymph nodes (LN) is critical in the initiation of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) responses. Studies suggest that contact allergen-induced epidermal proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1 and TNF-alpha, play important roles in promoting LC migration. Contact allergens also induce epidermal anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10. Since IL-10 down-regulates proinflammatory cytokine production and inhibits CHS, we hypothesized that IL-10 might inhibit LC migration. To test this hypothesis, IL-10 knockout (KO) mice were epicutaneously sensitized with the hapten, FITC, and 24 h later hapten-bearing cells in the draining LN were examined. The number of hapten-bearing cells in the LN was significantly greater in IL-10 KO mice than in wild-type mice. The mutant mice also had an exaggerated CHS to FITC. Pretreatment with anti-TNF-alpha Ab or IL-1R antagonist significantly reduced the number of hapten-bearing cells in the LN, suggesting that IL-10 modulation of LC migration involves IL-1 and TNF-alpha. Moreover, IL-10 KO mice demonstrated a greater increase in TNF-alpha, IL-1alpha, and IL-1beta mRNAs in the allergen-exposed epidermis, and keratinocytes derived from the mutant mice were able to produce higher amounts of TNF-alpha and IL-1alpha protein. These data suggest that IL-10 plays an inhibitory role in LC migration and that this effect may occur via the down-regulation of TNF-alpha and IL-1 production.

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