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Effects of interleukin-10 on neonatal excitotoxic brain lesions in mice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bettina Mesples, Frank Plaisant, Pierre Gressens

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number1-2
Published14 Mar 2003

King's Authors


Interleukin-10 markedly reduces production of proinflammatory cytokines by activated microglia or macrophages and downregulates the expression of activating molecules on these cells. In studies performed in adults or in cell cultures, interleukin-10 protected against hypoxic-ischemic neuronal death and against lipopolysaccharide-mediated oligodendrocyte cell death. Furthermore, it was recently shown that interleukin-10 counteracts metabolic and microcirculatory effects of hypoxia-ischemia in the perinatal pig brain. Intracerebral injection of the glutamatergic analogue ibotenate to newborn mice induces cortical plate and white matter lesions mimicking the brain damage associated with cerebral palsy, and pretreatment with proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1-beta or with interleukin-9 significantly exacerbates these lesions. The present study evaluated the influence of interleukin-10 on ibotenate-induced brain lesions in newborn mice under basal conditions or after exposure to cytokines. Intraperitoneal injection of interleukin-10 for 3 days following ibotenate significantly reduced the size of excitotoxic brain lesions. Intraperitoneal injection of neutralizing anti-interleukin-10 antibody for 3 days following ibotenate had no detectable effect and no difference in ibotenate-induced brain lesion size was found between wild type pups and pups deleted for the interleukin-10 gene, suggesting that endogenous interleukin-10 in newborn mice may have limited effects. Co-administration of intracerebral ibotenate and interleukin-10 had no detectable effect, arguing against a direct neuroprotective effect of interleukin-10 on neurons. While pretreatment with intraperitoneal interleukin-10 alone had no detectable effect on excitotoxic brain lesions, interleukin-10 given with interleukin-1-beta pretreatment blunted the toxic effects of interleukin-1-beta. On the other hand, combined pretreatment with IL-9 and anti-IL-10 antibody largely reversed the exacerbating effect of IL-9 on excitotoxic brain lesions. Altogether, these data suggest that, in newborn mice, exogenous interleukin-10 can be neuroprotective when acting in an inflammatory context.

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