Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Source of host-protective regulatory IL-10 during intracellular protozoan infection

J Exp Med. 2007 Feb 5; [Epub ahead of print]

Conventional T-bet+Foxp3- Th1 cells are the major source of host-protective regulatory IL-10 during intracellular protozoan infection.

Jankovic D, Kullberg MC, Feng CG, Goldszmid RS, Collazo CM, Wilson M, Wynn TA, Kamanaka M, Flavell RA, Sher A.

Immunobiology Section and 2Immunopathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892.

Although interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion is essential for control of most intracellular pathogens, host survival often also depends on the expression of interleukin 10 (IL-10), a cytokine known to counteract IFN-gamma effector functions. We analyzed the source of regulatory IL-10 in mice infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Unexpectedly, IFN-gamma-secreting T-bet(+)Foxp3(-) T helper type 1 (Th1) cells were found to be the major producers of IL-10 in these animals. Further analysis revealed that the same IL-10(+)IFN-gamma(+) population displayed potent effector function against the parasite while, paradoxically, also inducing profound suppression of IL-12 production by antigen-presenting cells. Although at any given time point only a fraction of the cells appeared to simultaneously produce IL-10 and IFN-gamma, IL-10 production could be stimulated in IL-10(-)IFN-gamma(+) cells by further activation in vitro. In addition, experiments with T. gondii-specific IL-10(+)IFN-gamma(+) CD4 clones revealed that although IFN-gamma expression is imprinted and triggered with similar kinetics regardless of the state of Th1 cell activation, IL-10 secretion is induced more rapidly from recently activated than from resting cells. These findings indicate that IL-10 production by CD4(+) T lymphocytes need not involve a distinct regulatory Th cell subset but can be generated in Th1 cells as part of the effector response to intracellular pathogens.

PMID: 17283209 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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