What is IL-10?

Interleukin (IL)-10 (IL-10) is the best-studied and most well-known anti-inflammatory cytokine that is secreted by a variety of cell types, including CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, γδ-T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, NK T cells, B cells, dendritic cells, eosinophils, mast cells, and monocytic cells. It plays an essential role in the regulation of the balance of the immune response. IL-10 can suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, and MIP-1α, as well as the expression of adhesion molecules. Besides, IL-10 also suppresses monocyte and macrophage activity by downregulating the expression of MHC surface molecules. Owing to these properties, IL-10 is regarded as an important regulator in the control of autoimmunity and allergy. It can be leveraged therapeutically to suppress excessive immune response during the progress of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

IL-10 expression in the immune system.Fig.1 IL-10 expression in the immune system. (Kubo, 2012)

Roles of IL-10-producing γδ T cells

γδ T cells, a distinct subgroup of T cells expressing γδ TCRs, play an essential role in the innate and adaptive immune system. They have been shown to produce a variety of cytokines such as IL-17 to participate in the regulation of immune response. IL-10, an important anti-inflammatory cytokine, was also shown to be produced by γδ T cells although there has been little research focusing on IL-10-producing γδ T cells.

In a study, IL-10 was produced by non-Vγ9γδ T cells. Non-Vγ9γδ T cells and IL-10 production by these cells were increased during Falciparum Malaria reinfection, which contributes to the acquisition of natural immunity against P. falciparum by stimulating the proliferation and differentiation of B cells into antibody-producing cells. Besides, human Vγ9 γδ T cells have also been shown to produce IL-10 and promote the antibody secretion by B cells.

In cattle, IL-10-producing γδ T cells play a role in immune regulation. They can be expanded in vitro by adding IL-10 and TGF-β and contacting with antigen present cells (APCs). APC subsets expressing IL-10 and TFG-β also can regulate the proliferation of IL-10-producing γδ T cells. IL-10-expressing γδ T cells inhibit Ag-specific and nonspecific proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vitro.

Creative Biolabs supports a full range of γδ T cell research services including the development of γδ T cell therapy, analysis of γδ T cell receptor, γδ T cell development, and γδ T cell engineering. Our in-home scientists are professional in γδ T cell research and can help our clients formulate an optimal experimental scheme according to your special requirements. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.


  1. Kubo, M.; Motomura, M. Transcriptional regulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in acquired immune cells. Front Immunol. 2012, 3: 275.
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