Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the multifaceted IL-10-mediated anti-inflammatory response: lessons from neutrophils

Eur J Immunol. 2010 Sep;40(9):2360-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.200940294.


Analysis of the molecular mechanisms governing the ability of IL-10 to keep inflammation under control has highlighted the existence of a great degree of plasticity and specificity with regard to innate immune cells. In this respect, neutrophils represent a perfect example of innate immune cells conditioned by external signals (for instance, by LPS), as well as by intracellular regulatory pathways, that render them optimally responsive to IL-10 only when required. The focus of this review are the recent experimental findings that have uncovered the sophisticated and complex molecular mechanisms responsible for the modulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production by IL-10 in neutrophils and other innate immune cells. Understanding how IL-10 exerts its anti-inflammatory response, particularly in the case of neutrophils, will provide novel clues leading, hopefully, to the therapeutic control of neutrophil-driven inflammatory reactions, such as septic infections, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / immunology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Osteoarthritis / immunology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / immunology
  • Sepsis / immunology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-10