Interleukin 10 (IL-10) and viral IL-10 strongly reduce antigen-specific human T cell proliferation by diminishing the antigen-presenting capacity of monocytes via downregulation of class II major histocompatibility complex expression

René De Waal Malefyt, John Haanen, Hergen Spits, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Anje Te Velde, Carl Figdor, Karen Johnson, Rob Kastelein, Hans Yssel, Jan E. De Vries

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Abstract

Interleukin 10 (IL-10) and viral IL-10 (v-IL-10) strongly reduced antigen-specific proliferation of human T cells and CD4+ T cell clones when monocytes were used as antigen-presenting cells. In contrast, IL-10 and v-IL-10 did not affect the proliferative responses to antigens presented by autologous Epstein-Barr virus-lymphoblastoid cell line (EBV-LCL). Inhibition of antigen-specific T cell responses was associated with downregulation of constitutive, as well as interferon γ-or IL-4-induced, class II MHC expression on monocytes by IL-10 and v-IL-10, resulting in the reduction in antigen-presenting capacity of these cells. In contrast, IL-10 and v-IL-10 had no effect on class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) expression on EBV-LCL. The reduced antigen-presenting capacity of monocytes correlated with a decreased capacity to mobilize intracellular Ca2+ in the responder T cell clones. The diminished antigen-presenting capacities of monocytes were not due to inhibitory effects of IL-10 and v-IL-10 on antigen processing, since the proliferative T cell responses to antigenic peptides, which did not require processing, were equally well inhibited. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of IL-10 and v-IL-10 on antigen-specific proliferative T cell responses could not be neutralized by exogenous IL-2 or IL-4. Although IL-10 and v-IL-10 suppressed IL-1α, IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and IL-6 production by monocytes, it was excluded that these cytokines played a role in antigen-specific T cell proliferation, since normal antigen-specific responses were observed in the presence of neutralizing anti-IL-1, -IL-6, and -TNF-α mAbs. Furthermore, addition of saturating concentrations of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α to the cultures had no effect on the reduced proliferative T cell responses in the presence of IL-10, or v-IL-10. Collectively, our data indicate that IL-10 and v-IL-10 can completely prevent antigen-specific T cell proliferation by inhibition of the antigen-presenting capacity of monocytes through downregulation of class II MHC antigens on monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-924
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume174
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1991

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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