Regulation of adaptive immunity; the role of interleukin-10

T. H.Sky Ng, Graham J. Britton, Elaine V. Hill, Johan Verhagen, Bronwen R. Burton, David C. Wraith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Since the discovery of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the 1980s, a large body of work has led to its recognition as a pleiotropic immunomodulatory cytokine that affects both the innate and adaptive immune systems. IL-10 is produced by a wide range of cell types, but for the purposes of this review we shall focus on IL-10 secreted by CD4+ T cells. Here we describe the importance of IL-10 as a mediator of suppression used by both FoxP3+ and FoxP3- T regulatory cells. Moreover, we discuss the molecular events leading to the induction of IL-10 secretion in T helper cell subsets, where it acts as a pivotal negative feedback mechanism. Finally we discuss how a greater understanding of this principle has allowed for the design of more efficient, antigen-specific immunotherapy strategies to exploit this natural phenomenon clinically.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 129
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cytokines
  • Immune regulation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-10
  • Regulatory T cells
  • T helper cells


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