A quartet of papers in the December 2007 issue of Nature Immunology show how white blood cells can produce interleukin 10, a chemical mediator that helps keep the immune response in check. This response is vital in fighting autoimmune conditions such as colitis, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
Four separate groups led by Christopher Hunter, Daniel Cua, Abdolmohamad Rostami and Mohamed Oukka showed a certain type of lymphocyte can be stimulated by specific immune messenger molecules to produce the immune suppressive factor interleukin 10. The messenger molecules included either interleukin 27 or a combination of interleukin 6 and another type of messenger molecule called transforming growth factor beta. These results suggest that modulating these messenger molecules could increase interleukin 10 concentrations and temper over-active immune responses.
Many autoimmune conditions are exacerbated when immune suppressing factors such as interleukin 10 are lacking. The work described in the current four papers may provide directed means to intervene in these and other severe autoimmune diseases.
Christopher A. Hunter (University of Pennsylvania, Dept of Pathobiology, Philadelphia, PA)
Daniel Cua (Schering-Plough Biopharma, Palo Alto, MA, USA)
Abdolmohamad Rostami (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Mohamed Oukka (BRIGHAM and Women's/CND and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)
Abstracts available online:
(C) Nature Immunology press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza