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IL-10-produced by human transitional B-cells down-regulates CD86 expression on B-cells leading to inhibition of CD4+T-cell responses

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Original languageEnglish
Article number20044
Pages (from-to)20044
JournalScientific Reports
Accepted/In press23 Dec 2015
Published22 Jan 2016


King's Authors


A novel subset of human regulatory B-cells has recently been described. They arise from within the transitional B-cell subpopulation and are characterised by the production of IL-10. They appear to be of significant importance in regulating T-cell immunity in vivo. Despite this important function, the molecular mechanisms by which they control T-cell activation are incompletely defined. Here we show that transitional B-cells produced more IL-10 and expressed higher levels of IL-10 receptor after CD40 engagement compared to other B-cell subsets. Furthermore, under this stimulatory condition, CD86 expressed by transitional B-cells was down regulated and T-cell proliferation was reduced. We provide evidence to demonstrate that the down-regulation of CD86 expression by transitional B-cells was due to the autocrine effect of IL-10, which in turn leads to decreased T-cell proliferation and TNF-α production. This analysis was further extended to peripheral B-cells in kidney transplant recipients. We observed that B-cells from patients tolerant to the graft maintained higher IL-10 production after CD40 ligation, which correlates with lower CD86 expression compared to patients with chronic rejection. Hence, the results obtained in this study shed light on a new alternative mechanism by which transitional B-cells inhibit T-cell proliferation and cytokine production.

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