Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) have been identified as cells capable of producing a number of pro- and antiinflammatory cytokines in response to specific agonists. Previously, we showed that tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), and IL-8, are produced by PMN after stimulation with agonists, such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In this study, we demonstrate that LPS is also a potent stimulus for the mRNA expression and release of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra). In addition, we show that the release of IL-1ra from LPS-stimulated PMN is markedly potentiated in the presence of IL-10 (from two to threefold after 18 h of stimulation). Moreover, we observed that this upregulation of IL-1ra production by IL-10 in LPS-stimulated PMN took place through IL-1ra mRNA stabilization. Indeed, the half-life of IL-1ra mRNA was prolonged in PMN stimulated in the presence of IL-10 and LPS, as compared with cells stimulated with LPS alone. That IL-10 selectively upregulates IL-1ra production in LPS-activated PMN, while it inhibits the production of IL-1 beta, TNF, and IL-8 under the same conditions, suggests that IL-10 may be an important physiologic regulator of cytokine production from PMN, and emphasizes the potential role of IL-10 in inflammatory responses.

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