The paradoxical role of IL-10 in immunity and cancer

Cancer Lett. 2015 Oct 28;367(2):103-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2015.07.009. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


Interleukin-10 (IL-10) produced by a wide-variety of cells is a highly pleiotropic cytokine. It has been implicated in the pathogenesis and/or development of autoimmune diseases and cancer, although it displays differential effects that seem to be contradictory sometimes. The ultimate role of this cytokine in disease, however, cannot be fully determined until the immunological contexts that regulate its function are further elucidated. In this review, we will discuss a wide variety of evidence of IL-10 in immunity and cancer in an effort to illuminate the remaining mysteries in the function of this cytokine that, when fully understood, may prove to be a powerful tool in the battle against cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; IL-10; Immune.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism*
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-10 / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Receptors, Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-10