IL-10 is a prototypical anti-inflammatory cytokine, which is fundamental to the maintenance of immune homeostasis, especially in the intestine. There is an assumption that cells producing IL-10 have an immunoregulatory function. However, here we report that IL-10-producing CD4 + T cells are phenotypically and functionally heterogeneous. By combining single cell transcriptome and functional analyses, we identified a subpopulation of IL-10-producing Foxp3 neg CD4 + T cells that displays regulatory activity unlike other IL-10-producing CD4 + T cells, which are unexpectedly pro-inflammatory. The combinatorial expression of co-inhibitory receptors is sufficient to discriminate IL-10-producing CD4 + T cells with regulatory function from others and to identify them across different tissues and disease models in mice and humans. These regulatory IL-10-producing Foxp3 neg CD4 + T cells have a unique transcriptional program, which goes beyond the regulation of IL-10 expression. Finally, we found that patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease demonstrate a deficiency in this specific regulatory T-cell subpopulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)