Interleukin-10 and its receptor

Ther Immunol. 1994 Jun;1(3):173-85.


The cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) has several important activities on cells of the immune system. IL-10 profoundly suppresses activation of macrophages, inhibiting their ability to secrete cytokines and serve as accessory cells for stimulation of T cell and natural killer (NK) cell function. IL-10 also plays a role in stimulating proliferation and differentiation of B cells, mast cells, and both mature and immature T cells. At least two herpesviruses harbor analogs of the IL-10 gene; the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) homolog (BCRF1, viral IL-10, vIL-10) shares several of the cellular cytokine's activities, one or all of which may be important in the host-virus relationship. This article reviews recent studies on the function of IL-10 and discusses the initial characterization of its receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Genes
  • Genes, Viral
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-10
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics


  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-10
  • Viral Structural Proteins
  • Interleukin-10