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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999 Mar;19(3):734-42.

The role of interleukin 12 in the development of atherosclerosis in ApoE-deficient mice.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Research, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Graduate Institute of Immunology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Abstract

The cytokine profile of atherosclerotic aortas from apoE-deficient mice was assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The results clearly showed that the expression of mRNA for IL-12p40 was evident in aortas from 3-month-old apoE-deficient mice. The mRNA for IL-10 was detected in aorta from these mice at the age of 6 months, indicating that expression of IL-12 is earlier than that of IL-10 in these animals. Concurrent with IL-12p40, the mRNA for the T-cell cytokine IFN-gamma, but not IL-4, was detected in aortas of mice at young and old ages. Both in situ hybridization and immunostaining further demonstrated the localization of IL-12 in macrophages of atherosclerotic lesions. Immunohistochemistry also demonstrated the expression of costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 in macrophages, suggesting that activation of T lymphocytes by macrophages may occur via surface antigens in lesions. When the immunoglobulin isotype of the antioxidized LDL antibodies in sera of apoE-deficient mice was determined, it revealed that both IgM and IgG were present. Furthermore, IgG2a is predominant and comprises approximately 50% of the antioxidized LDL IgG in sera from young mice (3 months), but decreased to lower levels (35%) in older mice (6 months). Daily administration of IL-12 led to an increase in serum levels of antioxidized LDL antibodies and accelerated atherosclerosis in young apoE-deficient mice compared with control mice injected with PBS alone. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-12 plays an active role in regulating the immune response during the early phase of atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice.

PMID:
10073981
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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