Gene Therapy
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February 2001, Volume 8, Number 4, Pages 259-267
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Research Article
Genetic heterogeneity in the toxicity to systemic adenoviral gene transfer of interleukin-12
G Mazzolini, I Narvaiza, A Pérez-Diez, M Rodriguez-Calvillo, C Qian, B Sangro, J Ruiz, J Prieto and I Melero

Gene Therapy Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea, 1 (31080), Pamplona, Spain

Correspondence to: I Melero or C Quian, Gene Therapy Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea, 1 (31080), Pamplona, Spain

The last two authors will equally share credit for senior authorship

Abstract

Despite the efficacy of IL-12 in cancer experimental models, clinical trials with systemic recombinant IL-12 showed unacceptable toxicity related to endogenous IFNbold gamma production. We report that systemic administration of a recombinant adenovirus encoding IL-12 (AdCMVmIL-12) has a dramatically different survival outcome in a number of mouse pure strains over a wide range of doses. For instance at 2.5 ´ 109 p.f.u., systemic AdCMVmIL-12 killed all C57BL/6 mice but spared all BALB/c mice. Much higher IFNbold gamma concentrations in serum samples of C57BL/6 than in those from identically treated BALB/c were found. Causes for heterogeneous toxicity can be traced to differences among murine strains in the levels of gene transduction achieved in the liver, as assessed with adenovirus coding for reporter genes. In accordance, IL-12 serum concentrations are higher in susceptible mice. In addition, sera from C57BL/6 mice treated with AdCMVmIL-12 showed higher levels of IL-18, a well-known IFNbold gamma inducer. Interestingly, lethal toxicity in C57BL/6 mice was abolished by administration of blocking anti-IFNbold gamma mAbs and also by simultaneous depletion of T cells, NK cells, and macrophages. These observations together with the great dispersion of IFNbold gamma produced by human PBMCs upon in vitro stimulation with IL-12, or infection with recombinant adenovirus encoding IL-12, suggest that patients might also show heterogeneous degrees of toxicity in response to IL-12 gene transfer. Gene Therapy (2001) 8, 259-267.

Keywords

interleukin-12; toxicity; interferon-gamma; adenovirus

Received 17 August 2000; accepted 22 November 2000
February 2001, Volume 8, Number 4, Pages 259-267
Table of contents    Previous  Abstract  Next   Full text  PDF