Analysis of granuloma formation in double cytokine-deficient mice reveals a central role for IL-10 in polarizing both T helper cell 1- and T helper cell 2-type cytokine responses in vivo.


In response to i.v.-injected eggs of Schistosoma mansoni, normal mice develop a dominant type 2 response, whereas IL-10-deficient animals generate a mixed type 1/type 2 cytokine profile and show reduced pulmonary granuloma formation. IL-4-deficient mice, while displaying diminished type 2 responses and granulomatous inflammation, also do not fully default to a type 1 cytokine profile. Strikingly, mice doubly deficient in IL-4 and IL-10 are completely defective in pulmonary granuloma formation and develop a highly polarized type 1 cytokine pattern. In analogous fashion, mice deficient in both IL-12 and IL-10 generate highly exacerbated type 2 cytokine responses, whereas in wild- type animals, IL-12 depletion minimally effects egg-induced cytokine production. Together, these results argue first that IL-10 is an important endogenous down-regulator of type 2 as well as type 1 cytokine synthesis, and second, that its induction is critical for type 2 response polarization in vivo.

J Immunol