IL-10 can be considered an important agent in the resolution of inflammation. Originally named “cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor” for its ability to inhibit IFN-γ and IL-2 production in Th2 cells, it is secreted by monocytes, macrophages, mast cells, T and B lymphocytes, and dendritic cells (DCs). IL-10 production and release by monocytic cells in response to allergic challenge is upregulated by TNF-α, and by negative feedback regulation of itself. However, it is also secreted by T regulatory cells (Tregs), under the control of IL- 2. Importantly in the context of asthma, IL-10 inhibits eosinophilia, by suppression of IL-5 and GM-CSF, by direct effects on eosinophil apoptosis, and effects on cell proliferation through down-regulation of IL-1. A number of its cytokine suppressive characteristics are now thought to occur through its upregulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3. IL-10 is also a suppressor of nitric oxide (NO) production, which may have ramifications for its role in airway inflammatory diseases. Initial clinical trials have demonstrated relative safety and few clinically adverse events at doses of recombinant human IL-10 below 50 μg/kg, with mixed success in treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis. However, both steroid therapy and allergen specific immunotherapy are known to elevate endogenous IL-10 levels, which may account for their efficacy, suggesting that further study of IL-10 as a target for treatment of airway inflammatory diseases such as asthma and COPD is warranted.
Allergy, antigen-presenting cells, asthma, T regulatory cells
Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, Immunology, Critical Care, and Sleep (APICS), Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Building 8.104, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1083, USA.