Background: Genetic susceptibility, probably involving cytokines and their receptors, plays an important role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this study we examine the potential role of the interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene as a susceptibility gene in IBD. Methods: We studied 17 sib-pairs with either Crohn disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis. After microsatellite analysis for allele-sharing, the IL-10 gene of sib-pairs who shared alleles was screened for nucleotide alterations in and around exons and the promoter region. The IL-10 promoter polymorphism at position -1082 was also determined. Function was evaluated by measuring IL-10 secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide or phorbol ester. The activity of recombinant immature wild-type and mutated IL-10 was tested in a proliferation assay with a human monocytic leukaemia cell line (HL60 cells). Results: DNA sequencing revealed a G-->A point mutation in exon 1 at base position 43 in one sib-pair, both affected with CD. It was also found in 2 of their healthy siblings, but not in 75 unrelated healthy controls. This mutation results in a glycine to arginine substitution at amino acid position 15 of the leader sequence (Gly15Arg). The in vitro IL-10 secretion by mononuclear cells of the IL-10 Gly15Arg carriers was about 50% of healthy controls, matched for the -1082 polymorphism in the IL-10 promoter region. Incubation of HL60 cells with recombinant mutated IL-10 showed a markedly reduced cell proliferation compared to wild-type IL-10. Conclusion: A Gly15Arg mutation in the leader sequence of IL-10 was found in a multiple CD-affected family. This altered leader sequence decreases IL-10 secretion, thereby reducing the anti-inflammatory effect.
- recombinant human interleukin-10