IL-10 is necessary for the expression of airway hyperresponsiveness but not pulmonary inflammation after allergic sensitization
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Cytokines play an important role in modulating inflammatory responses and, as a result, airway tone. IL-10 is a regulatory cytokine that has been suggested for treatment of asthma because of its immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. In contrast to these suggestions, we demonstrate in a model of allergic sensitization that mice deficient in IL-10 (IL-10-/-) develop a pulmonary inflammatory response but fail to exhibit airway hyperresponsiveness in both in vitro and in vivo assessments of lung function. Reconstitution of these deficient mice with the IL-10 gene fully restores development of airway hyperresponsiveness comparable to control mice. These results identify an important role of IL-10, downstream of the inflammatory cascade, in regulating the tone of the airways after allergic sensitization and challenge.
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