Viral IL10 Homologs

In addition to influencing the production of cellular IL-10, some viruses encode their own IL-10 homologues (vIL-10). It has been suggested that these viral homologues mimic the biological effects of human IL-10 (hIL-10) and in this way provide a survival advantage for the virus. The first vIL-10 was identified as BCRF1 in the genome of EBV,92 which displays many of the immunosuppresive activities of its human counterpart in vitro including inhibition of antigen-specific T cell proliferation via the down regulation of MHC class II expression and antigen presentation by macrophages.145 Viral IL-10 encoded by CMV,93 despite exhibiting only 27% homology with hIL-10, also exerts potent immuno-suppressive properties.146 Another example is the parapox Orf virus, which induces cutaneous pustular lesions in sheep, goats as well as humans. It also encodes a vIL-10 that has been recently demonstrated to exert inhibitory effects on inflammatory cytokine production.147-150

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