Though inflammation is a crucial component of the host defense against injury and infection, a prolonged and chronic inflammatory response can be detrimental for the host as seen in inflammatory bowel disease. IL-10 is selleck compound a central regulatory element
of the immune system and it affects the immune response in a plethora of systems ranging from regulatory T-cell function 1 to inhibition of macrophage activation 2. IL-10 is produced by a range of cells including macrophages, DC, B cells and gut epithelial cells (reviewed in 3). Targeted deletion of the IL-10 gene in mice results in chronic intestinal inflammation that mirrors the pathology of inflammatory bowel disease in humans 4. Most recently, mutations in the IL-10R have been found to be associated with early-onset enterocolitis in children 5. Dissecting the sequence of events leading to this FK506 phenotype will require that we not only identify IL-10 producing cells but also the target cells whose response to this cytokine is necessary to maintain intestinal homeostasis. In a similar way, analysing other IL-10-dependent immune regulation requires an understanding of which cells are producing the cytokine and which populations respond to it.
The IL-10 receptor (IL-10R) is composed of the IL-10-specific ligand-binding component, known as IL-10R1, together with a β-chain, which is essential for signal transduction (IL-10R2). IL-10R2 is shared by at least three
other oxyclozanide class II cytokines 6. IL-10R2 expression can be found on most cell types, while IL-10R1 is constitutively expressed only on hematopoietic cells and is inducible on several non-hematopoietic cells 3. Thus, conditional inactivation of IL-10R1 in the mouse in vivo is the most direct approach to analyse the cellular IL-10 network and, to this end, we generated a conditional IL-10R1 deficient mouse mutant. The resulting mouse strains were analysed using both innate and adaptive immune response models. As an example of an innate response we used the systemic inflammation induced by LPS. IL-10 is essential to control this response as shown by an increased susceptibility to i.p. administered LPS in IL-10 deficient mice 7. To elicit a T-cell-dependent response, we used the large bowel dwelling nematode Trichuris muris (T. muris). Common inbred mouse strains develop a protective Th2 immune response 8, while B6-Il10tm1Cgn/J (IL-10−/−) mice mount a Th1 immune response leading to severe colonic inflammation 9. The phenotype of IL-10−/− mice has been described in various experimental settings, but the effect of the genetic ablation of IL-10R1 has not yet been investigated. The mutated IL-10R1 allele was generated by the insertion of two loxP sites flanking exon 1 and the promotor region of the IL-10r1 gene. Conditional gene targeting of IL-10R1 is shown in Fig. 1A.