Molecular Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 346–356 | Cite as

Enhanced Inducible Costimulator Ligand (ICOS-L) Expression on Dendritic Cells in Interleukin-10 Deficiency and Its Impact on T-Cell Subsets in Respiratory Tract Infection

  • Xiaoling Gao
  • Lei Zhao
  • Shuhe Wang
  • Jie Yang
  • Xi Yang
Research Article


An association between inducible costimulator ligand (ICOS-L) expression and interleukin (IL)-10 production by dendritic cells (DCs) has been commonly found in infectious disease. DCs with higher ICOS-L expression and IL-10 production are reportedly more efficient in inducing regulatory T cells (Tregs). Here we use the Chlamydia muridarum(Cm) lung infection model in IL-10 knockout (KO) mice to test the relationship between IL-10 production and ICOS-L expression by DCs. We examined ICOS-L expression, the development of T-cell subsets, including Treg, Th17 and Th1 cell, in the background of IL-10 deficiency and its relationship with ICOS-L/ICOS signaling after infection. Surprisingly, we found that the IL-10 KO mice exhibited significantly higher ICOS-L expression by DCs. Moreover, IL-10 KO mice showed lower Tregs but higher Th17 and Th1 responses, but only the Th17 response depended on ICOS signaling. Consistently, most of the Th17 cells were ICOS+, whereas most of the Th1 cells were ICOS in the infected mice. Furthermore, neutralization of IL-17 in IL-10 KO mice significantly exacerbated lung infection. The data suggest that ICOS-L expression on DC may be negatively regulated by IL-10 and that ICOS-L expression on DC in the presence or absence of IL-10 costimulation may promote Treg or Th17 response, without significant impact on Th1.



This work was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Manitoba Health Research Council and Manitoba Institute for Child Health (to X Yang). X Gao was a trainee in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma and a recipient of a Manitoba Health Research Council/Manitoba Institute for Child Health Graduate Studentship. X Yang is the Canada Research Chair in Infection and Immunity. The authors thank Grant McClarty for help editing the manuscript.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoling Gao
    • 1
  • Lei Zhao
    • 1
  • Shuhe Wang
    • 1
  • Jie Yang
    • 1
  • Xi Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Infection and Immunity, Departments of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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