IL-10 interferes directly with TCR-induced IFN-gamma but not IL-17 production in memory T cells

Eur J Immunol. 2009 Apr;39(4):1066-77. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838773.


IL-10 is a potent immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine. However, therapeutic trials in chronic inflammation have been largely disappointing. It is well established that IL-10 can inhibit Th1 and Th2 cytokine production via indirect effects on APC. Less data are available about the influence of IL-10 on IL-17 production, a cytokine which has been recently linked to chronic inflammation. Furthermore, there are only few reports about a direct effect of IL-10 on T cells. We demonstrate here that IL-10 can directly interfere with TCR-induced IFN-gamma production in freshly isolated memory T cells in the absence of APC. This effect was independent of the previously described effects of IL-10 on T cells, namely inhibition of IL-2 production and inhibition of CD28 signaling. In contrast, IL-10 did not affect anti-CD3/anti-CD28-induced IL-17 production from memory T cells even in the presence of APC. This might have implications for the interpretation of therapeutic trials in patients with chronic inflammation where Th17 cells contribute to pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Fungal / immunology
  • Candida albicans / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / drug effects
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-17 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 6 / immunology
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 6 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / agonists
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • IL2 protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • SOCS3 protein, human
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma
  • PTPN6 protein, human
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 6