In vivo production of interleukin-10 by non-T cells in rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosus. A potential mechanism of B lymphocyte hyperactivity and autoimmunity

Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Nov;37(11):1647-55. doi: 10.1002/art.1780371114.


Objective: Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent stimulator of B lymphocytes in vitro. In vivo dysregulation of IL-10 gene expression was therefore analyzed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS), and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Spontaneous production of IL-10 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was measured using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in untreated patients with either RA (n = 10), SS (n = 10), or SLE (n = 10), and in 15 normal control subjects.

Results: IL-10 production was dramatically higher in RA, SS, and SLE patients than in controls. In each group, both B lymphocytes and monocytes, but not T lymphocytes, produced IL-10.

Conclusion: IL-10 production is increased in RA, SS, and SLE. It may play a role in B lymphocyte hyperactivity and in the development of autoimmunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / genetics
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interleukin-10