Changes in mRNA expression and protein levels of cytokines in HD and SLE pDCs + apoPMNs. (a) Changes in IFNα, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-18 mRNA expression in HD (n = 7) and SLE (n = 7) pDCs + apoPMNs. IFNα mRNA expression (A1) appeared increased in both HD and SLE pDCs + apoPMNs but the changes did not reach statistical significance. IL-6 (A2) mRNA expression was significantly decreased in both HD and SLE pDCs + apoPMNs. IL-10 mRNA expression (A3) did not change in both HD pDCs + apoPMNs. IL-18 mRNA expression (A4) did not change in HD pDCs + apoPMNs but was significantly decreased in SLE pDCs + apoPMNs. (b) protein levels of IFNα, IL-6 and IL-10 in the supernatants of cultured HD (n = 8) and SLE (n = 8) pDCs + apoPMNs (B1, B2 and B3). Results were compared with cultured pDCs alone. B1) No significant differences in the levels of IFNα in the culture supernatants of both HD and SLE pDCs + apoPMNs were detected. B2) Levels of IL-6 were significantly decreased in the culture supernatants of both HD and SLE pDCs + apoPMNs. B3) Levels of IL-10 in the culture supernatants of HD pDCs + apoPMNs were significantly decreased while no significant changes were found in that of SLE pDCs + apoPMNs. Values are expressed in Median (interquartile range, range). pDCs + apoPMNs, pDCs that had been loaded with apoptotic polymorphonuclear cells; HD, healthy donors; IFNα, Interferon α; IL, Interleukin.