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J Autoimmun. 2001 Mar;16(2):87-95.

IL-12 enhances lymphoaccumulation by suppressing cell death of T cells in MRL- lpr/lpr mice.

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Seikagaku Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.

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  • J Autoimmun 2001 Jun;16(4):485.


Lymphoaccumulation occurs in MRL- lpr/lpr mice, because double-negative T cells (DNT cells) cannot be deleted due to their Fas mutation, i.e., lpr. We show here that IL-12 enhances in lymphoaccumulation by suppressing cell death of DNT cells in [corrected] MRL- lpr/lpr mice. It has been reported that viable DNT cells from MRL- lpr/lpr mice undergo rapid apoptosis in ordinary cell culture without additional stimulation, suggesting that unknown in vivo factors other than lpr suppress the apoptosis. In the present study, we found that plasma IL-12p40 monomer and/or homodimer level increased with age in MRL- lpr/lpr but not in MRL-+/+ mice, and the increase in IL-12 correlated well with lymphoaccumulation. Requirement of IL-12 in lymphoaccumulation and in suppressed cell death of DNT cells of MRL- lpr/lpr mice was assessed. When an antibody neutralizing IL-12 was injected into old MRL- lpr/lpr mice with high plasma IL-12 level, lymphoaccumulation was diminished. When IL-12p40- or IL-12p70-encoding plasmid was administered to young MRL- lpr/lpr mice before the plasma IL-12 level increases, lymphoaccumulation was enhanced. The ordinary cell culture-induced cell death of DNT cells from MRL- lpr/lpr mice was suppressed in the presence of IL-12. Since DNT cells produce IFN-gamma, a potent inducer of IL-12, the INF-gamma induced-IL-12 may enhance lymphoaccumulation in MRL- lpr/lpr mice.

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