The discovery of IL-10 more than 30 years ago marked the beginning of our understanding of how cytokines regulate immune responses, based on cross-regulation between Th1 and Th2 cytokines. Although multiple cell types were shown to produce IL-10, its identity as a Th2 cytokine remained strong because it was rigidly associated with Th2 clones in mice, whereas both Th1 and Th2 clones could secrete IL-10 in humans. However, as new Th1/Th2 cell functionalities emerged, anti-inflammatory action of IL-10 gained more attention than its inhibitory effect on Th1 cells, which may occur as an indirect consequence of suppression of APCs. This notion is also supported by the discovery of regulatory T cells, whose suppressor functions involve the mediation of IL-10, among other molecules. From this perspective, we discuss the functionalities of IL-10 by highlighting important differences between mice and humans with an emphasis on the Th1 and Th2 paradigm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy