IL-10 producing B cells rescue mouse fetuses from inflammation-driven fetal death and are able to modulate T cell immune responses

Mandy, Busse, Kim-Norina Jutta, Campe, Desiree, Nowak, Anne, Schumacher, Susanne, Plenagl, Stefanie, Langwisch, Gisa, Tiegs, Annegret, Reinhold, Ana Claudia, Zenclussen

Scientific Reports |

Understanding the mechanisms leading to fetal death following maternal subclinical infections is crucial to develop new therapeutic strategies. Here we addressed the relevance of IL-10 secreting B cells (B10) in the maintenance of the immune balance during gestation. µMT females lacking mature B cells presented normal pregnancies, although their fetuses were smaller and their Treg pool did not expand as in B cell sufficient controls. Pregnant µMT females were more susceptible to LPS despite having less Treg; their fetuses died at doses compatible with pregnancy in WT animals. Adoptive transfer of IL-10 negative B effector cells or B cells from IL-10 deficient mice did not modify this outcome. The transfer of B10 cells or application of recombinant murine IL-10 reduced the fetal loss, associated with a normalization of Treg numbers and cytokine modulation at the feto-maternal interface. B cell-derived IL-10 suppressed the production of IL-17A and IL-6 by T cells and promoted the conversion of naïve cells into Treg. B10 cells are required to restore the immune balance at the feto-maternal interface when perturbed by inflammatory signals. Our data position B cells in a central role in the maintenance of the balance between immunity and tolerance during pregnancy.