Background: Monocytes and macrophages produce interleukin (IL)-10, an immunoregulatory cytokine and a potent therapeutic tool for immune disorders. Augmentation of IL-10 production with a concomitant reduction of proinflammatory cytokines in macrophages in vitro is attained by doubly stimulating the cells with a toll-like receptor ligand and immunoglobulin (Ig)G immune complexes, a response known as that of regulatory (or alternatively activated/M2) macrophages. However, it has not been explored sufficiently how such a regulatory response could be exploited for anti-inflammation. Our objective is to find a potential way or condition for augmenting IL-10 by monocytes/macrophages in vivo and in vitro.
Results: We show that platelets, when they are opsonized with IgG, can convert human peripheral blood circulating monocytes to IL-10-producing regulatory monocytes in vitro and also in a murine in vivo model. Co-culturing of platelets and monocytes in the presence of anti-integrin IgG and a bacterial lipopolysaccharide augmented IL-10 production via a direct interaction between platelets and monocytes. This novel way of enhancing IL-10 was mediated by activating-type Fc receptors for IgG.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that the IgG-bound platelet-induced conversion of monocytes to regulatory cells might provide a novel strategy for controlling inflammation.