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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Interleukin-10 produced by B cells is crucial for the suppression of Th17/Th1 responses, induction of T regulatory type 1 cells and reduction of collagen-induced arthritis

Natalie A Carter*, Elizabeth C Rosser and Claudia Mauri

Author Affiliations

Centre for Rheumatology Research, Division of Medicine, University College London, Rayne Building, 5 University Street, London, WC1E 6JF, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:R32  doi:10.1186/ar3736

Published: 8 February 2012

Abstract

Introduction

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) producing B cells, also known as regulatory B (Breg) cells, play a key role in controlling autoimmunity. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated a pivotal role for Bregs in rheumatological disorders, including experimental models of arthritis and lupus. The aim of this study was to identify the role of endogenous IL-10 secreting B cells in vivo in controlling the induction and disease progression of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).

Methods

We generated chimeric mice that had IL-10 knocked-out specifically in the B cell population. These mice were compared with wild-type (WT) B cell chimeric mice for their susceptibility to CIA.

Results

Here we report that chimeric mice specifically lacking IL-10 producing B cells (IL-10-/- B cell) developed an exacerbated CIA compared to chimeric wild type B cell (WT B cell) mice. A marked increase in inflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells were detected in IL-10-/-B cell mice compared to WT B cell mice. Furthermore, there was a reduction in IL-10 secreting CD4+ Tr1 cells in these animals.

Conclusions

IL-10 producing B cells restrain inflammation by promoting differentiation of immuno-regulatory over pro-inflammatory T cells and, hence, act to maintain tolerance.