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1.  Isolation and characterization of human interleukin-10–secreting T cells from peripheral blood 
Human immunology  2010;71(3):225-234.
Recent studies have expanded our understanding of the role of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)–10, produced by multiple lineages of both human and murine T cells, in regulating the immune response. Here, we demonstrate that the small percentage of circulating CD4+ T cells that secrete IL-10 can be isolated from human peripheral blood and, importantly, we have optimized a protocol to expand these cells in both antigen-specific and polyclonal manners. Expanded CD4+IL-10+ T cells abrogate proliferation and T helper (Th) 1–like cytokine production in an antigen-specific manner, and to a lesser extent exhibit bystander suppressive capacity. CD4+IL-10+ T cells are suppressive in a cell contact–dependent way, though they do not require secretion of IL-10 for their suppressive role in vitro. CD4+IL-10+ T cells have an activated phenotype, with high expression of CD25, CD69, and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, and are largely FoxP3 negative. This novel method for the isolation and expansion of suppressive IL-10–secreting T cells has important implications both for further research and clinical therapeutic development.
doi:10.1016/j.humimm.2009.12.003
PMCID: PMC3399767  PMID: 20034527
Interleukin-10; Induced regulatory T cells
2.  Peptide immunotherapy in allergic asthma generates IL-10–dependent immunological tolerance associated with linked epitope suppression 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(7):1535-1547.
Treatment of patients with allergic asthma using low doses of peptides containing T cell epitopes from Fel d 1, the major cat allergen, reduces allergic sensitization and improves surrogate markers of disease. Here, we demonstrate a key immunological mechanism, linked epitope suppression, associated with this therapeutic effect. Treatment with selected epitopes from a single allergen resulted in suppression of responses to other (“linked”) epitopes within the same molecule. This phenomenon was induced after peptide immunotherapy in human asthmatic subjects and in a novel HLA-DR1 transgenic mouse model of asthma. Tracking of allergen-specific T cells using DR1 tetramers determined that suppression was associated with the induction of interleukin (IL)-10+ T cells that were more abundant than T cells specific for the single-treatment peptide and was reversed by anti–IL-10 receptor administration. Resolution of airway pathophysiology in this model was associated with reduced recruitment, proliferation, and effector function of allergen-specific Th2 cells. Our results provide, for the first time, in vivo evidence of linked epitope suppression and IL-10 induction in both human allergic disease and a mouse model designed to closely mimic peptide therapy in humans.
doi:10.1084/jem.20082901
PMCID: PMC2715096  PMID: 19528258
3.  CpG-containing immunostimulatory DNA sequences elicit TNF-α–dependent toxicity in rodents but not in humans 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2009;119(9):2564-2576.
CpG-containing immunostimulatory DNA sequences (ISS), which signal through TLR9, are being developed as a therapy for allergic indications and have proven to be safe and well tolerated in humans when administrated via the pulmonary route. In contrast, ISS inhalation has unexplained toxicity in rodents, which express TLR9 in monocyte/macrophage lineage cells as well as in plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and B cells, the principal TLR9-expressing cells in humans. We therefore investigated the mechanisms underlying this rodent-specific toxicity and its implications for humans. Mice responded to intranasally administered 1018 ISS, a representative B class ISS, with strictly TLR9-dependent toxicity, including lung inflammation and weight loss, that was fully reversible and pDC and B cell independent. Knockout mouse experiments demonstrated that ISS-induced toxicity was critically dependent on TNF-α, with IFN-α required for TNF-α induction. In contrast, human PBMCs, human alveolar macrophages, and airway-derived cells from Ascaris suum–allergic cynomolgus monkeys did not produce appreciable TNF-α in vitro in response to ISS stimulation. Moreover, sputum of allergic humans exposed to inhaled ISS demonstrated induction of IFN-inducible genes but minimal TNF-α induction. These data demonstrate that ISS induce rodent-specific TNF-α–dependent toxicity that is absent in humans and reflective of differential TLR9 expression patterns in rodents versus humans.
doi:10.1172/JCI38294
PMCID: PMC2735936  PMID: 19726873

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