GM-CSF negatively regulates early IL-10 mediated responses

Wilbers, R.H.P.; Westerhof, L.B.; Raaij, D.R. van; Smant, G.; Bakker, J.; Schots, A.


Inflammatory disorders are becoming more prevalent in the Western world. Treatment of these diseases relies on the intervention in inflammatory responses thereby restoring immune homeostasis. One cytokine that has the potential to restore immune homeostasis is the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10). But until now IL-10 treatment has not been as successful as anticipated. A reason for this may be that IL-10 responsiveness depends on the environment of the inflamed tissue. In this study we describe that granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a key cytokine that negatively regulates IL-10-mediated responses. Dendritic cells differentiated from bone marrow with GM- CSF have a reduced ability to respond to IL-10. Dendritic cells are impaired in their up-regulation of IL-10-induced SOCS3 expression and are unable to suppress LPS-induced TNF-α expression at an early time point. Furthermore, GM-CSF treatment partially replicates this phenotype in macrophages. Surprisingly, GM-CSF seems to regulate IL-10 activity in macrophages without affecting STAT3 activation. Still, GM-CSF induces constitutive phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β, a signalling component downstream of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Knowledge on the exact mechanism by which GM-CSF negatively regulates IL-10 activity could give novel insights on the integration of signal transduction pathways elicited by different cytokines. Ultimately this knowledge could provide us with new therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory disorders.