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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

An important role of interleukin-10 in counteracting excessive immune response in HT-29 cells exposed to Clostridium butyricum

Quanxin Gao12, Lili Qi1, Tianxing Wu12 and Jinbo Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Molecular Design and Nutrition Engineering, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, No. 1 Qianhunan Road, Ningbo, 315100, China

2 College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, No. 388 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310000, China

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BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-100

Published: 8 June 2012



Clostridium butyricum has become increasingly important in preventing and treating intestinal inflammation. In the intestine it may increase the resistance of the gut to pathogen invasion via inducing the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) plays a central role in preventing certain inflammatory diseases by down-regulating inflammatory cascades. In a previous study, we observed that the level of IL-10 mRNA was modulated by C. butyricum. The aim of this study was to investigate whether C. butyricum achieves its beneficial effects through IL-10.


We treated HT-29 cells with anti-IL-10 (IL-10 antibody) or siIL-10 (IL-10 small interfering RNA) to disrupt IL-10. In both cases, the effects of C. butyricum-induced NF-κB activation and IL-8 expression were enhanced. We also found that neutralization or knockdown of IL-10 could induce apoptosis and necrosis of HT-29 cells treated with C. butyricum compared with control cells.


These findings show that IL-10 serves an important role in C. butyricum-mediated immune protection, and in host recognition of C. butyricum.