Marcela Montes de Oca 1 , 2 , Rajiv Kumar 1 , 3 , Fabian de Labastida Rivera 1 , Fiona H Amante 1 , Meru Sheel 1 , Rebecca J. Faleiro 1 , 4 , Patrick T. Bunn 1 , 5 , Shannon E. Best 1 , Lynette Beattie 1 , Susanna S. Ng 1 , 6 , Chelsea L. Edwards 1 , 2 , Werner Muller 7 , Erika Cretney 8 , 9 , Stephen L. Nutt 8 , 9 , Mark J. Smyth 1 , Ashraful Haque 1 , Geoffrey R. Hill 1 , Shyam Sundar 10 , Axel Kallies 8 , 9 , Christian R. Engwerda 1 , *
14 January 2016
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is critical for controlling many intracellular infections, but can also contribute to inflammation. It can promote the destruction of important cell populations and trigger dramatic tissue remodeling following establishment of chronic disease. Therefore, a better understanding of TNF regulation is needed to allow pathogen control without causing or exacerbating disease. IL-10 is an important regulatory cytokine with broad activities, including the suppression of inflammation. IL-10 is produced by different immune cells; however, its regulation and function appears to be cell-specific and context-dependent. Recently, IL-10 produced by Th1 (Tr1) cells was shown to protect host tissues from inflammation induced following infection. Here, we identify a novel pathway of TNF regulation by IL-10 from Tr1 cells during parasitic infection. We report elevated Blimp-1 mRNA levels in CD4 + T cells from visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients, and demonstrate IL-12 was essential for Blimp-1 expression and Tr1 cell development in experimental VL. Critically, we show Blimp-1-dependent IL-10 production by Tr1 cells prevents tissue damage caused by IFNγ-dependent TNF production. Therefore, we identify Blimp-1-dependent IL-10 produced by Tr1 cells as a key regulator of TNF-mediated pathology and identify Tr1 cells as potential therapeutic tools to control inflammation.
Many parasitic diseases are associated with the generation of potent inflammatory responses. These are often needed to control infection, but can also cause tissue damage if not appropriately regulated. IL-10 has emerged as an important immune regulator that protects tissues by dampening inflammation. Recently, some T cells that initially produce inflammatory cytokines have been found to start producing IL-10 as a mechanism of auto-regulation. We identified an important transcriptional regulator called B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1), which promotes IL-10 production by IFNγ-producing CD4 + T (Tr1) cells during malaria and visceral leishmaniasis, two important diseases caused by protozoan parasites. We found that Tr1 cell-derived IL-10 suppressed anti-parasitic immunity, but played a critical role in preventing tissue damage caused by the potent pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF. Specifically, IL-10 protected macrophages from TNF-mediated destruction, and this enabled lymphocytes to continue to migrate to regions in the spleen where T and B cell responses are generated. These findings allow us to better understand how parasites persist in a host, but also identify new opportunities to control inflammation to prevent disease.