Expression of IL-10 receptors on epithelial cells from the murine small and large intestine

Timothy L. Denning, Nicola A. Campbell, Fei Song, Roberto P. Garofalo, Gary R. Klimpel, Victor E. Reyes, Peter B. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The appearance of chronic intestinal inflammation in IL-10 knockout mice suggests IL-10 may inhibit adverse responses to luminal antigen. Moreover, this inflammation is associated with an increase in class II MHC molecule expression on intestinal epithelial cells. Thus, the role of IL-10 regulation in epithelial cell function was investigated. Using RT-PCR, it was shown that intestinal epithelial cells express mRNA for both subunits of the IL-10 receptor-signaling complex. In addition, biotinylated IL-10 was shown to bind to both cultured and freshly isolated intestinal epithelial cells prepared from the small or large intestine. This binding appeared specific as it was blocked by neutralizing antibodies to IL-10 but not the isotype control. Moreover, an excess of native IL-10 also inhibited the binding of radiolabeled IL-10. To evaluate whether IL-10 mediated any functions through this receptor, epithelial cells were cultured with IL-10 alone or with IFN-γ plus IL-10. IL-10 alone had no detectable effects on epithelial cell growth or their expression of class II MHC molecules but it did antagonize the effect of IFN-γ on the viability of cultured cells. In addition, IL-10 blocked the IFN-γ-induced expression of class II MHC molecules on cultured epithelial cells. These results suggest that IL-10 binds to a specific receptor on intestinal epithelial cells and may regulate the contribution of epithelial cells to the inflammatory and immune response in the digestive tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalInternational immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Class II MHC
  • Cytokines
  • IL-10
  • Intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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