Inhibition of interferon gamma induced interleukin 12 production: a potential mechanism for the anti-inflammatory activities of tumor necrosis factor.


Journal Article

Inflammation is associated with production of cytokines and chemokines that recruit and activate inflammatory cells. Interleukin (IL) 12 produced by macrophages in response to various stimuli is a potent inducer of interferon (IFN) gamma production. IFN-gamma, in turn, markedly enhances IL-12 production. Although the immune response is typically self-limiting, the mechanisms involved are unclear. We demonstrate that IFN-gamma inhibits production of chemokines (macrophage inflammatory proteins MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta). Furthermore, pre-exposure to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibited IFN-gamma priming for production of high levels of IL-12 by macrophages in vitro. Inhibition of IL-12 by TNF can be mediated by both IL-10-dependent and IL-10-independent mechanisms. To determine whether TNF inhibition of IFN-gamma-induced IL-12 production contributed to the resolution of an inflammatory response in vivo, the response of TNF+/+ and TNF-/- mice injected with Corynebacterium parvum were compared. TNF-/- mice developed a delayed, but vigorous, inflammatory response leading to death, whereas TNF+/+ mice exhibited a prompt response that resolved. Serum IL-12 levels were elevated 3-fold in C. parvum-treated TNF-/- mice compared with TNF+/+ mice. Treatment with a neutralizing anti-IL-12 antibody led to resolution of the response to C. parvum in TNF-/- mice. We conclude that the role of TNF in limiting the extent and duration of inflammatory responses in vivo involves its capacity to regulate macrophage IL-12 production. IFN-gamma inhibition of chemokine production and inhibition of IFN-gamma-induced IL-12 production by TNF provide potential mechanisms by which these cytokines can exert anti-inflammatory/repair function(s).

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Hodge-Dufour, J; Marino, MW; Horton, MR; Jungbluth, A; Burdick, MD; Strieter, RM; Noble, PW; Hunter, CA; Puré, E

Published Date

  • November 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 23

Start / End Page

  • 13806 - 13811

PubMed ID

  • 9811882

Pubmed Central ID

  • 9811882

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.95.23.13806


  • eng