Interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-induced transforming growth factor β1 and interleukin-10

Catherine Othieno, Christina S. Hirsch, Beverly D. Hamilton, Katalin Wilkinson, Jerrold J. Ellner, Zahra Toossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Mycobacterium tuberculosis is associated with the activation of cytokine circuits both at sites of active tuberculosis in vivo and in cultures of mononuclear cells stimulated by M. tuberculosis or its components in vitro. Interactive stimulatory and/or inhibitory pathways are established between cytokines, which may result in potentiation or attenuation of the effects of each molecule on T-cell responses. Here we examined the interaction of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in purified protein derivative (PPD)-stimulated human mononuclear cell cultures in vitro. TGF-β1 induced monocyte IL-10 (but not tumor necrosis factor alpha) production (by 70-fold, P <0.02) and mRNA expression in the absence but not in the presence of PPD. Both exogenous recombinant (r) IL-10 and rTGF-β1 independently suppressed the production of PPD-induced gamma interferon (IFN-γ) in mononuclear cells from PPD skin test-positive individuals. Synergistic suppression of IFN-γ in cultures containing both rTGF-β1 and rIL-10 was only seen when the responder cell population were peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and not monocyte-depleted mononuclear cells and when PBMC were pretreated with rTGF-β1 but not with rIL-10. Suppression of PPD-induced IFN-γ in PBMC containing both rTGF-β1 (1 ng/ml) and rIL-10 (100 pg/ml) was 1.5-fold higher (P <0.05) than cultures containing TGF-β1 alone and 5.7-fold higher (P <0.004) than cultures containing IL-10 alone. Also, neutralization of endogenous TGF-β1 and IL-10 together enhanced PPD-induced IFN-γ in PBMC in a synergistic manner. Thus, TGF-β1 and IL-10 together potentiate the downmodulatory effect on M. tuberculosis-induced T-cell production of IFN-γ, and TGF-β1 alone enhances IL-10 production. At sites of active M. tuberculosis infection, these interactions may be conducive to the suppression of mononuclear cell functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5730-5735
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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