Mycobacterial heat shock protein 70 induces interleukin-10 production: immunomodulation of synovial cell cytokine profile and dendritic cell maturation

Clin Exp Immunol. 2004 Feb;135(2):336-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2004.02351.x.


Cytokines are key modulators of the immune responses that take place in the inflamed synovium of arthritis patients. Consequently, substances that can reverse the inflammatory profile of the inflamed joint are potential tools for clinical management of the disease. Mycobacterial heat shock protein 70 (MTBHSP70) has been found to protect rats from experimentally induced arthritis through the induction of interleukin (IL)-10-producing T cells. In this study, we have demonstrated that MTBHSP70 induces IL-10 production in synoviocytes from arthritis patients and peripheral blood monoculear cells (PBMCs) from both patients and healthy controls. IL-10 production was accompanied by a decrease in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production by synovial cells. Separation studies showed that the target cells were mainly monocytes. Accordingly, we observed that MTBHSP70 delayed maturation of murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Our results suggest that MTBHSP may act on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) to modulate the cytokine response in arthritis and support an anti-inflammatory role for this protein, suggesting that it may be of therapeutic use in the modulation of arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arthritis / immunology*
  • Arthritis, Reactive / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / immunology
  • Synovial Fluid / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP70 protein, Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma