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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 931018, 9 pages
Research Article

Hypomethylation of IL10 and IL13 Promoters in CD4+ T Cells of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Department of Dermatology, Epigenetic Research Center, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China

Received 14 January 2010; Accepted 23 March 2010

Academic Editor: Brian Poole

Copyright © 2010 Ming Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interleukin- (IL-)10 and IL-13 play important roles in Th2 cell differentiation and production of autoantibodies in patients with (SLE). However, the mechanisms leading to IL10 and IL13 overexpression in SLE patients are not well understood. In this study, we confirm that the levels of both IL10 and IL13 mRNA in CD4+ T cells and of serum IL10 and IL13 proteins are increased in SLE patients. We show that the DNA methylation levels within IL10 and IL13 gene regulatory domains are reduced in SLE CD4+ T cells relative to healthy controls and negatively correlate with IL10 and IL13 mRNA expression. Moreover, treating healthy CD4+ T cells with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (5-azaC) increased IL10 and IL13 mRNA transcription. Together, our results show that promoter methylation is a determinant of IL10 and IL13 expression in CD4+ T cells, and we propose that DNA hypomethylation leads to IL10 and IL13 overexpression in SLE patients.