IL-10 gene knockout attenuates allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness in C57BL/6 mice

J. Paul Justice, Y. Shibata, S. Sur, J. Mustafa, M. Fan, M. R. Van Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Intratracheal administration of interleukin-10 (IL-10) has been reported to inhibit allergic inflammation but augment airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). In the present study, airway and smooth muscle responsiveness to methacholine (MCh) were compared in wild-type (WT) and IL-10-deficient (IL-10-KO) mice to investigate the role of endogenous IL-10 in AHR development. Naive WT and IL-10-KO mice exhibited similar dose-dependent increases in airway resistance (Raw) to intravenous MCh. Sensitization and challenge with ragweed (RW) induced a twofold increase in responsiveness to intravenous MCh in WT mice, but hyperresponsiveness was not observed in similarly treated IL-10-KO mice. Likewise, tracheal rings from RW-sensitized and -challenged WT mice exhibited a fourfold greater responsiveness to MCh than IL-10-KO tracheal preparations. Measurements of airway constriction by whole body plethysmography further supported the Raw and tracheal ring data (i.e., AHR was not observed in the absence of IL-10). Interestingly, factors previously implicated in the development of AHR, including IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IgA, IgG1, IgE, eosinophilia, and lymphocyte recruitment to the airways, were upregulated in the IL-10-KO mice. Treatment with recombinant murine IL-10 at the time of allergen challenge reduced the magnitude of inflammation but reinstated AHR development in IL-10-KO mice. Adoptive transfer of mononuclear splenocytes to IL-10-sufficient severe combined immunodeficient mice indicated that lymphocytes were an important source of the IL-10 impacting AHR development. These results provide evidence that IL-10 expression promotes the development of allergeninduced smooth muscle hyperresponsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L363-L368
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2 24-2
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • Bronchial hyperresponsiveness
  • Eosinophilia
  • Interleukin-10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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