Skip to Content
Authors Weber SM, Qi C, Neal Z, Sondel P, Mahvi DM
Author Profile(s)
Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 122 Issue: 2 Pages: 210-7
Publish Date 2004 Dec
PubMed ID 15555620

Interleukin 12 (IL-12) gene therapy is an effective antitumor agent in local and metastatic murine tumor models. We sought to evaluate the antimetastatic effect of IL-12 cDNA in a liver metastases model.A liver metastases model was induced by creating a “primary” splenic tumor through inoculation of 1 × 10(5) TS/A adenocarcinoma cells directly into the inferior pole of the spleen in female BALB/c mice. On day 4, 50 microg of IL-12 cDNA or control plasmid DNA was injected into splenic tumor, followed by splenectomy on day 8. Mice were sacrificed on day 25 to assess liver tumor burden. IL-12 mRNA and mIL-12 and IFN-gamma protein levels were assessed after IL-12 injection. Peripheral blood CD4+, CD8+, and NK cells were quantified on day 14 using FACS. To determine the significance of site of cytokine DNA injection, IL-12 cDNA was injected on day 4 into splenic tumor or into the non-involved spleen after isolation of the inferior and superior portions of the spleen, respectively, with surgical clips. Splenectomy was performed on day 8 and sacrifice was performed on day 25.IL-12 mRNA was detected in the liver 8 h after injection, with a peak at 24 h. After splenic injection, protein levels of IL-12 and IFN-gamma were detectable in the liver and spleen 24 h after treatment. IL-12 and IFN-gamma were not detectable in control animals. In the peripheral blood, there was a marked increase in NK cells (13% of total lymphocytes versus 4%, control) and in the CD4+/CD8+ ratio (5.5 versus 1.9). At day 25, there was a marked antimetastatic effect after IL-12 injection into either splenic tumor [liver:body weight, 6.2 versus 10.9 (control), P = 0.007] or non-involved spleen (6.8 g versus 10.7 g, P = 0.005). There was no difference in the antimetastatic effect between animals injected into splenic tumor or non-involved spleen (P = 0.3).Injection with a single dose of IL-12 cDNA into splenic tumor or non-involved spleen resulted in a profound antimetastatic effect. Splenic IL-12 injection results in mRNA expression in the liver, protein expression in the liver and spleen, and a marked increase in NK cells and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio in peripheral blood. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System