Regulation of T cells and cytokines by the interleukin-10 (IL-10)-family cytokines IL-19, IL-20, IL-22, IL-24 and IL-26

Eur J Immunol. 2006 Feb;36(2):380-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.200425523.


The family of IL-10-related cytokines includes several human members, IL-19, IL-20, IL-22, IL-24 and IL-26, and a series of herpesviral and poxviral paralogs. Some of these cytokines share common receptor subunits. In this study, we investigated the effects of these cytokines on naive T cell differentiation, antigen-specific T cell suppression, survival ad expression of surface markers in comparison to IL-10 and cytomegalovirus (CMV)-IL-10. Human CD45RA(+) T cells were stimulated in the presence of IL-10-family cytokines in sequential 12-day cycles. After three to four cycles of stimulation, IL-10 and CMV-IL-10 led to increased IFN-gamma and IL-10 but decreased IL-4 and IL-13. Interestingly, long-term exposure of T cells to IL-19, IL-20 and IL-22 down-regulated IFN-gamma but up-regulated IL-4 and IL-13 in T cells and supported the polarization of naive T cells to Th2-like cells. In contrast, neutralization of endogenous IL-22 activity by IL-22-binding protein decreased IL-4, IL-13 and IFN-gamma synthesis. The antigen-specific suppressor activity of IL-10 and CMV-IL-10 was not observed for any of the other IL-10-family cytokines. These data demonstrate that IL-19, IL-20 and IL-22 may participate in T cell-mediated diseases by distinct regulation of T cell cytokine profiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / cytology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Viral Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Proteins / pharmacology*


  • CMV IL-10 protein, Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytokines
  • Viral Proteins
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens