The paradoxical effects of interleukin 10 in the immunoregulation of autoimmune diabetes

Balaji Balasa, Nora Sarvetnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is a chronic autoimmune disease and spontaneously develops in NOD mice and humans. The role of T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines in the immunopathogenesis of disease is not understood. IL-10 has presented a particularly paradoxical role. Transgenic (Tg) BALB/c mice expressing IL-10 in the pancreas exhibited periinsulitis but not insulitis and diabetes. However, backcrossing of these Tg mice with NOD mice accelerated the onset of diabetes, indicating a pathogenic role for IL-10 in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes since it is able to replace the genetic susceptibility information on the NOD genome. Conversely, administration of IL-10 to adult NOD delayed the onset of and decreased the incidence of diabetes suggesting a potential therapeutic role for IL-10 in autoimmune diabetes. Overall, the findings indicated a paradoxical role for IL-10 in the immunoregulation of autoimmune diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • IDDM
  • IL-10
  • NOD
  • T helper
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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