Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a vital regulatory cytokine, which plays a constructive role in maintaining immune tolerance during an alloimmune inflammation. Our previous study highlighted that IL-10 mediated immunosuppression established the immune tolerance phase and thereby modulated both microvascular and epithelial integrity, which affected inflammation-associated graft malfunctioning and sub-epithelial fibrosis in rejecting allografts. Here, we further investigated the reparative effects of IL-10 on microvasculature and epithelium in a mouse model of airway transplantation. To investigate the IL-10 mediated microvascular and epithelial repair, we depleted and reconstituted IL-10, and monitored graft microvasculature, airway epithelium, and associated repair proteins. Our data demonstrated that both untreated control allografts and IL-10 (−) allografts showed a significant early (d6) increase in microvascular leakiness, drop-in tissue oxygenation, blood perfusion, and denuded airway epithelium, which is associated with loss of adhesion protein Fascin-1 and β-catenin on vascular endothelial cells at d10 post-transplantation. However, IL-10 (+) promotes early microvascular and airway epithelial repair, and a proportional increase in endothelial Fascin-1, and β-catenin at d10 post-transplantation. Moreover, airway epithelial cells also express a significantly higher expression of FOXJ1 and β-catenin in syngrafts and IL-10 (+) allografts as compared to IL-10 (−) and untreated controls at d10 post-transplantation. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that IL-10 mediated microvascular and epithelial changes are associated with the expression of FOXJ1, β-catenin, and Fascin-1 proteins on the airway epithelial and vascular endothelial cells, respectively. These findings establish a potential reparative modulation of IL-10 associated microvascular and epithelial repair, which could provide a vital therapeutic strategy to facilitate graft repair in clinical settings.
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