Interleukin-10 (IL-10) secretion in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis: IL-10-dependent CD4+CD45RO+ T cell-B cell antibody synthesis

J Clin Immunol. 1996 Jul;16(4):198-207. doi: 10.1007/BF01541225.


Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a major immunoregulatory cytokine and has a multitude of immunomodulatory effects in the immune system. In this study, we have examined the secretion and in vitro function of IL-10 in B cell hyperactivity in antibody production in two common autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). IL-10 was detectable in serum of all active SLE and serum and synovial fluid samples of all RA patients but in none of the normal controls. B cells and CD4+CD45RO+ "memory" T cells secreted highly enhanced levels of IL-10 in SLE and RA versus normals. Increased IgM and IgG production by B cells-CD4+CD45RO+ T cells in SLE and RA was IL-10 dependent, since neutralization of IL-10 cytokine by anti-IL-10 antibody drastically reduced Ig synthesis in these coculture experiments. B cell hyperactivity in autoantibody production in SLE and RA may be a function of IL-10-dependent CD4+CD45RO+ Th2 cell activation. Therefore, IL-10 may play an important role in highly disturbed immune system and B cell-T cell function in these immune disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypergammaglobulinemia / etiology
  • Interferon-gamma / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-10 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology*
  • Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / drug effects
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / metabolism


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens