Background: Although IL-10 is known as an immunoregulatory cytokine produced by various cells including T cells, its basic profile in atopic asthma remains uncertain. Objective: The profiles of IL-10 production in circulating CD4+ T cells of atopic asthmatics were investigated with respect to clinical severity. Methods: Forty atopic asthmatics were divided into three groups: mild, and severe but stable and severe unstable asthmatics. Eosinophils were counted in the peripheral blood and sputum, and exhaled nitric oxide was assessed. PBMCs were stimulated with or without anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies and then processed for detecting IL-10-producing CD4+ cells using flow cytometry. Results: There was no difference in the eosinophil count in blood or sputum and in nitric oxide level among the three groups. IL-10-producing CD4+ cells were mainly detected in a CD45RO+ memory population. The frequency of IL-10-producing cells after stimulation was significantly lower in the severe unstable group compared to the mild group. In addition, the frequency of IL-10-producing cells in the severe unstable group was significantly lower than that in the severe stable group despite the fact that both groups received similar treatments with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids. The IL-10 production of CD4+CD45RO+ cells in response to dexamethasone did not differ among the three groups. Conclusions: IL-10-producing CD4+CD45RO+ cells in the peripheral blood are decreased in severe unstable asthmatics, which is not explained by the effect of high-dose inhaled corticosteroid medication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy