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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1996 Oct 31;795:216-26.

Regulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by interleukin-12.

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Genetics Institute, Andover, Massachusetts 01810, USA.


We have evaluated the effects of rmIL-12 on the course of adoptively transferred EAE. When mice were injected with LNC that had been stimulated in vitro with PLP in the presence of rmIL-12, the subsequent course of disease was more severe and prolonged than controls. In vitro stimulation with PLP in the presence of IL-12 was associated with an increase in IFN-gamma and decrease in IL-4-producing cells, indicating a preferential expansion of Th1 effector cells. At peak disease, no notable differences in either the cellular composition or cytokine expression within CNS lesions was seen between groups. However, the frequency of macrophages that stained positively for inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was increased in animals challenged with rmIL-12 treated LNC. These data suggest that in addition to promoting the preferential expansion of IFN-gamma-producing cells by rmIL-12 treatment in vitro, in vivo effects leading to macrophage activation and iNOS expression may contribute to the severe, protracted course of CNS inflammation in this model. In contrast, treatment of mice with an antibody to murine IL-12 following cell transfer completely prevented paralysis with only 40% of the mice developing mild disease. These data suggest that endogenous IL-12 plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of this model of autoimmune disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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