December 1997

Intestinal Epithelial Cell Regulation of Macrophage and Lymphocyte Interleukin 10 Expression

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1997;132(12):1271-1276. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430360017003

Background:  The intestinal mucosa is subject to daily antigenic challenge and to injury by proinflammatory cytokines. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) is an important antiinflammatory cytokine produced by macrophages and lymphocytes that modulates this response.

Objective:  To investigate the hypothesis that intestinal epithelial cells are a significant local source of IL-10 in the gut milieu and also participate in the regulation of macrophage and lymphocyte IL-10 expression in the intestinal microenvironment.

Methods:  C-205 cells, a human intestinal epithelial cell line, were cultured for 2 days; lipopolysaccharide or tumor necrosis factor was then added. Media and cells were harvested at specific time points to determine the kinetics of IL-10 expression. C-205 cells were then cocultured with macrophages or lymphocytes isolated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and IL-10 expression was assessed in unstimulated and stimulated conditions. Interleukin 10 protein was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; IL-10 gene expression was measured by reverse transcriptase—polymerase chain reaction.

Results:  Constitutive production of IL-10 protein by C-205 cells was maximal at 3 days, paralleled by a peak in IL-10 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression at 24 hours. Lipopolysaccharide or tumor necrosis factor strikingly up-regulated IL-10 mRNA and protein expression by C-205 cells. Coculture of C-205 cells with macrophages or lymphocytes significantly increased lipopolysaccharide-stimulated IL-10 protein and mRNA release compared with C-205 cells, macrophages, or lymphocytes cultured alone.

Conclusions:  Enterocytes are a responsive source of IL-10 and may play a role in modulating production of this important cytokine by the local inflammatory cells of the gut. These redundant mechanisms to augment IL-10 production suggest a central role for this cytokine in regulation of the local intestinal inflammatory response.Arch Surg. 1997;132:1271-1276