Anticancer immunotherapy with cytokines is often limited by the occurrence of severe toxicity, particularly in older age groups, which are characterized by a reduced tolerance to antineoplastic therapies. We, and others, have recently demonstrated the efficacy of pulsing procedures with IL-2 as a new therapeutic strategy to induce antitumor cytotoxic cells. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effect of IL-12 on NK cell activity in young and old mice and to investigate the possibility of inducing NK cytotoxicity and perforin and granzyme B gene expression through a brief exposure of spleen lymphocytes from young and old mice to IL-12. Pulsed lymphocytes were compared with non-pulsed cells cultured continuously in IL-12. IL-12 was able to boost both endogenous and IL-2-induced NK cell activity in young and old mice; the levels of cytotoxicity were lower in old than in young animals although the relative increase of IL-12 plus IL-2 versus IL-2 alone was greater for old mice. Comparable levels of NK cell activity were obtained in pulsed (5 min-1 hour) and non-pulsed lymphocytes from both young and old mice after one or three days of culture. The efficacy of the pulsing procedure was evident in both endogenous and IL-2-induced NK cytotoxicity. The mRNA encoding perforin and granzyme B were markedly and similarly enhanced in both IL-12-pulsed and non-pulsed lymphocytes in comparison with control cells. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of IL-12 pulsing in inducing antitumor cytotoxic cells, suggesting the possibility of using IL-12 pulsing, alone or in combination with IL-2, in the immunotherapy of both young and old subjects.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||European Cytokine Network|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
- IL-12 pulse
- NK cell activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology