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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 11 (2004), Issue 1, Pages 33-38
Original Article

Different Profile of Interleukin-10 Production in Circulating T Cells from Atopic Asthmatics Compared with Healthy Subjects

K Matsumoto, S Narita, T Rerecich, DP Snider, and PM O'Byrne

Asthma Research Group, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, St Joseph’s Healthcare, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


BACKGROUND: Interleukin (IL)-10 is a pleiotropic cytokine released from various cells, including T cells. Although IL-10 is suggested to inhibit allergic responses, its role in asthma remains uncertain. The purpose of the present study was to compare the profile of IL-10 in circulating T cells from stable atopic asthmatics, atopic nonasthmatics and healthy controls.

METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated, stained with anti-CD3 and CD4/CD8 antibodies, and then processed for intracellular IL-10 detection by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: A kinetic study in healthy controls showed that stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin significantly increased the frequencies of IL-10-producing CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ cells. Without stimulation, the frequencies of IL-10-producing CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+cells were significantly higher in asthmatics than in healthy controls, while a similar trend was observed in atopic nonasthmatics. Stimulation for 24 h significantly increased IL-10-producing CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+cells in healthy controls and atopic nonasthmatics, but not in asthmatics.

CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of IL-10-producing T cells is increased in the circulation of stable atopic asthmatics compared with normal controls. The lack of enhancement in their frequency by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin in asthmatics suggests that the circulating T cells of asthmatic subjects are maximally stimulated with regards to IL-10 production; alternatively, IL-10 production by T cells from asthmatics may be regulated differently than T cells from other subjects.