PROBLEM: To determine the effects of anti-inflammatory cytokines on the production of inflammatory mediators by placental cells.
METHOD OF STUDY: Cells from term human placentas were isolated and cultured in vitro in the presence of anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. Their effects on the production of IL-8 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were investigated under basal conditions and after stimulation with IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α.
RESULTS: Both IL-10 and IL-4 inhibited IL-1β- and TNF-α-induced PGE2 production but had no significant effects on the production of PGE2 under basal conditions. TGF-β1 was without effect in stimulated cells, whereas under basal conditions TGF-β1 stimulated PGE2 production. Similar trends were seen for IL-8 production, with the exceptions that TGF-β1 decreased the TNF-α-induced production and IL-4 decreased basal IL-8 production.
CONCLUSIONS: The anti-inflammatory effects shown by IL-4, IL-10, and (to lesser extent) TGF-β may play a role in ameliorating the potentially harmful effects of pro-inflammatory mediators in the feto-placental unit.