Interleukin-10: A pleiotropic regulator in pregnancy

Shi Bin Cheng, Surendra Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pregnancy is a unique and well-choreographed physiological process that involves intricate interplay of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory milieu, hormonal changes, and cellular and molecular events at the maternal-fetal interface. IL-10 is a pregnancy compatible cytokine that plays a vital role in maintaining immune tolerance. A wide array of cell types including both immune and non-immune cells secret IL-10 in an autocrine and paracrine manner. IL-10 binds to a specific receptor complex and activates JAK-STAT and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways while inhibiting NF-κB signaling pathway. IL-10 exerts its anti-inflammatory effects mainly by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, and TNF-α, by inducing heme oxygenase-1, and by inhibiting antigen presentation via blocking major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II expression. Prior studies from our group and others have shown that IL-10 also functions as a potent protector against vascular dysfunction, and enhancement of IL-10 may serve as an immunotherapeutic intervention to treat adverse pregnancy outcomes. This review seeks to critically evaluate the archetypal functions of IL-10 as an immune suppressive factor as well as its novel functions as a vascular protector and modulator of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy in the context of normal and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-500
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Angiogenesis
  • Autophagy
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Immune tolerance
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-10: A pleiotropic regulator in pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this