The defense against microbial infection by innate and adaptive immune responses bears the intrinsic risk of immune-mediated inflammatory “collateral” damage to host tissue. The cytokine interleukin-10 plays a central role in the control mechanisms, which limit inflammatory responses in order to prevent immunopathology. This pleiotropic soluble factor can be produced by a broad spectrum of different cell types. Interestingly, efficient control of immune responses to different stimuli seems to require the release of IL-10 from different cellular sources. This review summarizes recent experiments demonstrating that production of IL-10 by different cell types can serve distinct and non-redundant functions in vivo.
Keywords: Interleukin-10, inflammation, immune regulation, immunopathology, TH1 responses, innate immunity
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