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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

IL-12 regulates T helper type 1 cytokine responses in human infectious disease.

We investigated the role of IL-12 in regulating T cell and cytokine responses in human infectious disease by using the spectrum of leprosy as a model. Tuberculoid patients mount strong T cell responses to Mycobacterium leprae, with production of the type 1 cytokines IL-2 and IFN-gamma in lesions; whereas lepromatous patients manifest weak T cell responses to M. leprae, with production of the type 2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 in lesions. We found expression of IL-12 p40 mRNA, as measured by PCR amplification, and IL-12 p70, as measured by immunohistochemistry, to be 10-fold greater in tuberculoid lesions than in lepromatous lesions. The ability of M. leprae to stimulate release of IL-12 from monocytes was inhibited by rIL-4 and rIL-10. M. leprae-induced T cell proliferation in tuberculoid patients was blocked by the addition of neutralizing Abs to IL-12. Furthermore, rIL-12 stimulated proliferation of CD4+ type 1 T cell clones from tuberculoid lesions, but not CD8+ type 2 T cell clones from lepromatous lesions; however, both responded to rIL-2, rIL-12 augmented M. leprae-specific T cell proliferation in lepromatous patients, thereby causing the selective expansion of CD4+ T cells and increasing T cell IFN-gamma production. These data indicate that IL-12 is an important mediator in the generation of the type 1 cytokine response in human infectious disease.[1]


  1. IL-12 regulates T helper type 1 cytokine responses in human infectious disease. Sieling, P.A., Wang, X.H., Gately, M.K., Oliveros, J.L., McHugh, T., Barnes, P.F., Wolf, S.F., Golkar, L., Yamamura, M., Yogi, Y. J. Immunol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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