Document Type


Journal Title

The Journal of experimental medicine

Publication Date





Transgenic expression of interleukin 10 (IL-10) in the islets of Langerhans leads to a pronounced pancreatic inflammation, without inflammation of the islets of Langerhans and without diabetes. A scattered infiltration of macrophages (M pi) precedes localized accumulations of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and M pi. This recruitment of inflammatory cells to the pancreas is somewhat surprising, since the biological activities of IL-10 in vitro indicate that IL-10 is a powerful immunosuppressive cytokine. Since endothelial cells play a major role in leukocyte extravasation, we examined if vascular changes and extralymphoid induction of peripheral and mucosal type vascular addressins contributed to IL-10-induced homing of mononuclear cells to the pancreas. The endothelium lining small vessels was highly activated in areas of inflammation, as the endothelial cells became cuboidal, and exhibited increased expression of major histocompatibility complex class II (Ia), intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and von Willebrand Factor. Furthermore, induction of vascular addressins simultaneously with accumulation of mononuclear cells around islets and vessels indicated that the endothelial cells take on the phenotype of differentiated endothelium specialized for leukocyte extravasation. In conclusion, pancreatic inflammation and vascular changes are prominent in IL-10 transgenic mice. We hypothesize that IL-10, in addition to its immuno-inhibitory properties, is a potent recruitment signal for leukocyte migration in vivo. These effects are relevant for in vivo therapeutic applications of IL-10.

MeSH Headings

Animals, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Movement, Endothelium, Vascular, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Interleukin-10, Islets of Langerhans, Leukocytes, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Transgenic, Pancreas



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.