Effects of exogenous interleukin-10 in a murine model of graft-versus-host disease to minor histocompatibility antigens

Transplantation. 1994 Dec 15;58(11):1251-7.


IL-10 is a regulatory cytokine of both T cells and monocytes. We have investigated the ability of IL-10 to regulate responses to alloantigens in vitro and in vivo. Addition of IL-10 to mixed lymphocyte cultures profoundly decreased the proliferation and IL-2 production by donor B10.BR cells stimulated with CBA cells expressing minor histocompatibility antigens. Administration of IL-10 for a period of 2 weeks after bone marrow transplantation decreased the expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ donor T cells. In addition, splenocytes from BMT mice treated with IL-10 secreted less IFN-gamma after stimulation with Con A in vitro. The suppression of the mitogen-driven proliferative response of lymphocytes from the IL-10-treated group could also be reversed with significantly less anti-IFN-gamma antibody than for saline-treated controls. However, treatment with IL-10 was not sufficient to alter significantly the clinical course of graft-versus-host disease in CBA recipient mice as assessed by survival, weight loss, and splenomegaly. The results suggest that exogenous IL-10 suppresses the afferent Th1 response in a graft-versus-host reaction but does not significantly diminish the effector stage of graft-versus-host disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / genetics
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / mortality
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology*
  • Phenotype
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Splenomegaly / immunology
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Interleukin-10