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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Essential role for IL-10 in resistance to lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm labor in mice.

IL-10 is highly expressed in the uterus and placenta and is implicated in controlling inflammation-induced pathologies of pregnancy. To investigate the role of IL-10 in regulating preterm labor, the response of IL-10 null mutant mice to low-dose LPS in late gestation was evaluated. When IL-10 null mutant C57BL/6 (IL-10(-/-)) and control (IL-10(+/+)) mice were administered LPS on day 17 of pregnancy, the dose of LPS required to elicit 50% preterm fetal loss was 10-fold lower in IL-10(-/-) mice than in IL-10(+/+) mice. Surviving fetuses in IL-10(-/-) mice exhibited fetal growth restriction at lower doses of LPS than IL-10(+/+) mice. Marked elevation of LPS-induced immunoactive TNF-alpha and IL-6 was evident in the serum, uterus, and placenta of IL-10(-/-) mice, and TNF-alpha and IL-6 mRNA expression was elevated in the uterus and placenta, but not the fetus. Serum IL-1alpha, IFN-gamma, and IL-12p40 were increased and soluble TNFRII was diminished in the absence of IL-10, with these changes also reflected in the gestational tissues. Administration of rIL-10 to IL-10(-/-) mice attenuated proinflammatory cytokine synthesis and alleviated their increased susceptibility to preterm loss. Exogenous IL-10 also protected IL-10(+/+) mice from fetal loss. These data show that IL-10 modulates resistance to inflammatory stimuli by down-regulating proinflammatory cytokines in the uterus and placenta. Abundance of endogenous IL-10 in gestational tissues is therefore identified as a critical determinant of resistance to preterm labor, and IL-10 may provide a useful therapeutic agent in this common condition.[1]


  1. Essential role for IL-10 in resistance to lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm labor in mice. Robertson, S.A., Skinner, R.J., Care, A.S. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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