Background & aims: Interleukin 10 (IL-10) is an anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory cytokine that regulates mucosal inflammation. This study evaluated the safety, tolerance, and efficacy of recombinant human IL-10 (rhuIL-10) for mild to moderately active Crohn's disease.
Methods: We conducted a 24-week multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and sequential-escalating-dose study. Ninety-five patients with Crohn's Disease Activity Index of 200-350, not presently undergoing corticosteroid, mesalamine, or immunosuppressive therapy, were treated with subcutaneous rhuIL-10 (1, 5, 10, or 20 microg/kg) or placebo once daily for 28 consecutive days. Patients were followed up for 20 weeks after treatment. Evaluation of safety and tolerance was the first objective, and efficacy was the second objective.
Results: Adverse effects were dose-related, mild-to-moderate in severity, and reversible. Asymptomatic and reversible anemia and thrombocytopenia were observed at higher doses. No withdrawal or delayed adverse effects were evident during 20 weeks of follow-up. At the end of treatment (day 29), intent-to-treat analysis showed that 23.5% (confidence interval [CI], 6.8%-49.9%) of patients receiving 5 micro/kg rhuIL-10 experienced clinical remission and endoscopic improvement; 0% (CI, 0%-14.8%) of patients in the placebo group did. Higher doses of recombinant human IL-10 were less effective than 5 microg/kg. No rhuIL-10 serum accumulation and no antibody against IL-10 were detected after 4 weeks.
Conclusions: Subcutaneous rhuIL-10 administered daily for 28 days to patients with mild to moderately active Crohn's disease is safe, well-tolerated, and shows clinical and endoscopic improvement.