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Am J Pathol. 1996 Feb;148(2):375-82.

Adoptive transfer of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis after in vitro treatment with recombinant murine interleukin-12. Preferential expansion of interferon-gamma-producing cells and increased expression of macrophage-associated inducible nitric oxide synthase as immunomodulatory mechanisms.

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Department of Preclinical Research, Genetics Institute, Andover, Massachusetts 01810, USA.


In an adoptive transfer model of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, stimulation of lymph node cells with proteolipid protein and recombinant murine interleukin (rmIL)-12 before cell transfer accelerated the onset and exacerbates clinical disease. In vitro stimulation with proteolipid protein in the presence of rmIL-12 was associated with an increase in interferon-gamma-producing cells and a decrease in IL-4-producing cells, indicating a preferential expansion of Th1 effector cells. This was supported by the finding that severe disease with rapid onset could be transferred with as few as 10 x 10(6) rmIL-12-stimulated lymph node cells. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that the accelerated onset of disease after in vitro stimulation with rmIL-12 coincided with an acute inflammatory response in the central nervous system. At peak disease, both control and rmIL-12 treatment groups exhibited extensive cellular infiltration with characteristic perivascular cuffing. No notable differences in either the cellular composition or cytokine expression within the lesions were seen between groups. However, the frequency of macrophages that stained positively for inducible nitric oxide synthase was increased in animals challenged with rmIL-12-treated lymph node cells. The results suggest that, in addition to promoting the preferential expansion of interferon-gamma-producing cells by rmIL-12 in vitro, secondary in vivo effects leading to macrophage activation and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression may contribute to the severe and protracted course of central nervous system inflammation in this model.

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