Interleukin 12 at the site of disease in tuberculosis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Interleukin 12 (IL-12), a heterodimeric cytokine composed of p40 and p35 chains, has potent immunologic effects in vitro. We used tuberculous pleuritis as a model to study the immunoregulatory potential of IL-12 in vivo at the site of human infectious disease. Messenger RNAs for p40 and p35 were detected in pleural fluid from six of six patients by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. By using an ELISA that detected both free p40 and heterodimeric IL-12, we found that mean concentrations were 585 +/- 89 pg/ml in pleural fluid of patients with tuberculous pleuritis, which were significantly higher than those in serum of the same patients (54 +/- 36 pg/ml), or in malignant pleural effusions (123 +/- 35 pg/ml). By using an ELISA specific for heterodimeric IL-12, we found that mean concentrations in pleural fluid of patients with tuberculous pleuritis were 165 +/- 28 pg/ml and undetectable in serum of the same patients, or in malignant pleural effusions. Bioactive IL-12 was detectable in five of five supernatants of pleural fluid cells stimulated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Addition of anti-IL-12 antibodies suppressed proliferative responses of pleural fluid cells to M. tuberculosis by 36 +/- 7%. These data indicate that IL-12 may play a role in the human immune response to infectious agents in vivo. We hypothesize that IL-12 contributes to the antimycobacterial immune response by enhancing production of interferon-gamma, facilitating development of Th1 cells and augmenting cytotoxicity of antigen-specific T cells and natural killer cells.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, M; Gately, MK; Wang, E; Gong, J; Wolf, SF; Lu, S; Modlin, RL; Barnes, PF

Published Date

  • April 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1733 - 1739

PubMed ID

  • 7909320

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC294229

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/JCI117157


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States