T cell-derived IL-10 and its impact on the regulation of host responses during malaria


Despite intense research, malaria still is the one of the most devastating diseases killing more people than any other parasitic infection. In an attempt to control the infection, the host immune system produces a potent pro-inflammatory response. However, this response is also associated with complications, such as severe anaemia, hypoglycaemia and cerebral malaria. This pronounced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines response is a common feature of malaria caused by parasites infecting humans as well as rodents and primates. A balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory responses may be fundamental to the elimination of the parasite without inducing excessive host pathology. IL-10 is a key cytokine that has been shown to have an important regulatory function in establishing this balance in malaria. Here we discuss which cells can produce IL-10 during infection, and present an overview of the evidence showing that T-cell derived IL-10 plays an important role in regulating malaria pathology. Many different subsets of T cells can produce IL-10, however, evidence is accumulating that it is effector Th1 CD4(+) T cells which provide the crucial source that down-regulates inflammatory pathology during blood-stage malaria infections.

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Volume 42
Issue number 6
Pages 549-555
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Crick authors

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