IL-10 as a therapeutic strategy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1998 Aug;24(3):629-39. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70030-2.


IL-10 has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties that suggest a potential therapeutic role in RA. IL-10 inhibits proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine production in addition to blocking T-cell responses to specific antigens. It acts primarily through inhibition of costimulatory properties of macrophages. IL-10 stimulates proliferation and differentiation of antibody-forming B-cells. Preclinical studies in a variety of animal models, including collagen-induced arthritis, have shown that IL-10 is effective in preventing or inhibiting inflammation and autoreactivity. Although in RA, circulating and synovial levels of IL-10 are increased, accumulated evidence suggests that there may be a relative deficit of available IL-10. Moreover, exogenous addition of IL-10 in vitro has been shown to affect the immunopathological processes involved in RA. Preliminary studies of human recombinant IL-10 in patients with RA have demonstrated a trend towards efficacy with a good safety profile. Taken together, the data support a therapeutic role for IL-10 in the treatment of RA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacokinetics
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-10 / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacokinetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Synovial Fluid


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-10