Cloning and characterization of chicken IL-10 and its role in the immune response to Eimeria maxima.
Rothwell L., Young JR., Zoorob R., Whittaker CA., Hesketh P., Archer A., Smith AL., Kaiser P.
We isolated the full-length chicken IL-10 (chIL-10) cDNA from an expressed sequence tag library derived from RNA from cecal tonsils of Eimeria tenella-infected chickens. It encodes a 178-aa polypeptide, with a predicted 162-aa mature peptide. Chicken IL-10 has 45 and 42% aa identity with human and murine IL-10, respectively. The structures of the chIL-10 gene and its promoter were determined by direct sequencing of a bacterial artificial chromosome containing chIL-10. The chIL-10 gene structure is similar to (five exons, four introns), but more compact than, that of its mammalian orthologues. The promoter is more similar to that of Fugu IL-10 than human IL-10. Chicken IL-10 mRNA expression was identified mainly in the bursa of Fabricius and cecal tonsils, with low levels of expression also seen in thymus, liver, and lung. Expression was also detected in PHA-activated thymocytes and LPS-stimulated monocyte-derived macrophages, with high expression in an LPS-stimulated macrophage cell line. Recombinant chIL-10 was produced and bioactivity demonstrated through IL-10-induced inhibition of IFN-gamma synthesis by mitogen-activated lymphocytes. We measured the expression of mRNA for chIL-10 and other signature cytokines in gut and spleen of resistant (line C.B12) and susceptible (line 15I) chickens during the course of an E. maxima infection. Susceptible chickens showed higher levels of chIL-10 mRNA expression in the spleen, both constitutively and after infection, and in the small intestine after infection than did resistant chickens. These data indicate a potential role for chIL-10 in changing the Th bias during infection with an intracellular protozoan, thereby contributing to susceptibility of line 15I chickens.