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Vaccine. 1999 Feb 5;17(5):490-6.

IL-6 induces long-term protective immunity against a lethal challenge of influenza virus.

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  • 1Department of Life Science, Center for Biofunctional Molecules, School of Environmental Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea.


The coadministration of cytokines can modulate immunity in DNA based viral vaccines. In order to determine the effects of various cytokines on long-term protection against the influenza virus, mice were intramuscularly coinoculated with plasmids that encoded either the granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF), interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-12 (IL-12), or the interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene, in the presence of two plasmids that encoded the nucleoprotein (NP) and the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of the influenza A virus. The coadministration of IL-4, IL-6 and IL-12 transiently enhanced antibody responses against influenza virus in early time points (4 to 7 week post immunization) after post inoculation. The expression of GMCSF gene resulted in the sustained elevation of antibody responses for at least 20 weeks post inoculation. However, NP-specific CTL responses decreased in these animals. Mice that received either the IL-12 or the IL-6 gene had enhanced NP-specific CTL responses. Remarkably, the coadministration of the IL-6 gene completely protected mice from a lethal challenge with influenza virus. Conversely, mice that received the IL-4 gene appeared to be more susceptible to lethal challenge than mice that were inoculated with the NP and the HA genes alone. These results demonstrate that the use of cytokines as molecular adjuvants when coadministered in influenza DNA vaccination must be specific. Our data also demonstrates that the coadministration of IL-6 should be considered to enhance the efficacy of influenza DNA vaccines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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