Viral Infections

The role of IL-10 in animal models of viral infection has not been investigated extensively. Nevertheless, a study of Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) induced stromal keratitis in mice, characterized by ocular inflammation leading to blindness, demonstrated that intraperitoneal administration of IL-10 reduced the incidence of blindness, cellular infiltration and levels of IL-2 and IL-6 in the cornea. However, IL-10 did not influence virus clearance from the eye.46

Table 1. Summary of the role of IL-10 in disease outcome for various pathogens in experimental mouse models

Organism / Disease Model

Method of IL-10 Disease Status

Modulation Resistance (R)/Susceptibility (S) References

Bacterial Infections

Listeria monocytogenes

Chlamydia trachomatis

Klebsiella pneumoniae Streptococcus pneumoniae

Mycobacterium bovis

M. tuberculosis M. avium

Salmonella choleraesuis Staphylococcus aureus Borrelia bugdorferi Endotoxin

Staphylococcus enterotoxin Caecal ligation & puncture Protozoal Infections

Leishmania major

Trypanosoma cruzi

Trypanosoma congolense Toxoplasma gondii Plasmodium yoelii Plasmodium chabaudi Viral Infections

Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccinia Virus JHMV EMCV Fungi

Candida albicans

Cryptococcus neoformans Coccidiodes immitis Aspergillus fumigatus

rIL-10 IL-10 Tg IL-10 KO Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO Anti-IL-10 Anti-IL-10

rIL-10 Anti-IL-10 IL-10 Tg IL-10 KO IL-10 KO Anti-IL-10 Anti-IL-10 Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO

rIL-10 Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO IL-10

rIL-10 IL-10 Tg Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO

rIL-10 Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO IL-10 KO IL-10 KO

rIL-10 / plasmid IL-10 KO IL-10 KO rIL-10

rIL-10 Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO IL-10 KO IL-10 KO Anti-IL-10 IL-10 KO

No difference


15 11

18 19,20,21

21,22 22

25 26,27

32 22,33

34 11,13

11,35,36 36,37

39 38,40,41

44 44,45


52 53,54

57 54

Figure 1. Schematic depicting the impact of IL-10 on the immune response to infectious agents.

In another study of herpetic stromal keratitis, established ocular lesions could be controlled in the majority of animals by the administration of a plasmid DNA encoding IL-10.47 In a recent study on acute vaccinia virus infection, Van der Broek et al demonstrated that virus replication was impaired in IL-10 KO mice, which was associated with its impact on IL-12 expression and the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses.48 Neurotropic mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV)-induced demyelinating encaphalomyelitis has also been investigated in IL-10 KO mice wherein increased morbidity and mortality were observed.49 This was associated with increased central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, and production of inflammatory mediators (TNF-a, IFN-y and iNOS), however, IL-10 was not required for elimination of infectious virus from the brain.49 In a murine model of viral myocarditis caused by encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), IL-10 administration reduced myocardial lesions resulting in enhanced survival compared to control animals but did not affect virus replication.50 Taken together, in the viral infections exhibiting inflammatory pathology, these observations suggest that although IL-10 is not required for viral clearance, it appears to be one of the mechanisms responsible for inhibiting the extent of inflammation.

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