Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

IL-10, originally described as a cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor, is secreted by a number of cells of the immune system, including monocytes and T cells. IL-10 is a potent inhibitor of monocyte/macrophage activation, and we have shown previously this cytokine to be a major endogenous down-regulator of TNF-alpha in the rheumatoid joint. The mechanisms involved in regulating IL-10 production by cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage are not yet clear, and most studies to date have used an exogenous triggering signal such as LPS. In this study, we have investigated the effects of cell-cell contact between human peripheral blood-derived activated T cells and monocytes in regulating monocyte IL-10 production. T cells, prestimulated with anti-CD3 mAb or with phorbol 12,13 di-butyrate and ionomycin, were fixed with glutaraldehyde and then incubated with monocytes. Fixed prestimulated T cells induced monocytes to secrete both IL-10 and TNF-alpha, and in addition, enhanced LPS-stimulated monocyte production of IL-10 and TNF-alpha in a dose-dependent manner. Stimulation of monocyte IL-10 production was abrogated when T cells were separated physically from monocytes within the tissue culture well. Using neutralizing Abs, we show that T cell contact-mediated induction of monocyte IL-10 is partially dependent on endogenous TNF-alpha and IL-1. Furthermore, T cell membrane TNF-alpha was shown to be one of the contact-mediated signals regulating monocyte IL-10 production. Endogenous IL-10 was shown to down-regulate T cell contact-mediated monocyte TNF-alpha production. Collectively, our results demonstrate that an autoregulatory loop exists involving both secreted and membrane-associated forms of IL-10 and TNF-alpha, and suggest that T cell-monocyte cognate interaction may play an important role in the regulation of monocyte cytokine production.


Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





3673 - 3681


Cell Communication, Cell Membrane, Cells, Cultured, Humans, Interleukin-10, Monocytes, T-Lymphocytes, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha