Interleukin-12 inhibits hepatitis B virus replication in transgenic mice

Victoria J. Cavanaugh, Luca G. Guidotti, Francis V. Chisari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric cytokine produced by antigen- presenting cells that has the ability to induce gamma interferon (IFN-γ) secretion by T and natural killer cells and to generate normal Th1 responses. These properties suggest that IL-12 may play an important role in the immune response to many viruses, including hepatitis B virus (HBV). Recently, we have shown that HBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes inhibit HBV replication in the livers of transgenic mice by a noncytolytic process that is mediated in part by IFN-γ. In the current study, we demonstrated that the same antiviral response can be initiated by recombinant murine IL-12 and we showed that the antiviral effect of IL-12 extends to extrahepatic sites such as the kidney. Southern blot analyses revealed the complete disappearance of HBV replicative intermediates from liver and kidney tissues at IL-12 doses that induce little or no inflammation in these tissues. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the disappearance of cytoplasmic hepatitis B core antigen from both tissues after IL-12 treatment, suggesting that IL-12 either prevents the assembly or triggers the degradation of the nucleocapsid particles within which HBV replication occurs. Importantly, we demonstrated that although IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and IFN- α/β mRNA are induced in the liver and kidney after IL-12 administration, the antiviral effect of IL-12 is mediated principally by its ability to induce IFN-γ production in this model. These results suggest that IL-12, through its ability to induce IFN-βγ, probably plays an important role in the antiviral immune response to HBV during natural infection. Further, since relatively nontoxic doses of recombinant IL-12 profoundly inhibit HBV replication in the liver and extrahepatic sites in this model, IL-12 may have therapeutic value as an antiviral agent for the treatment of chronic HBV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3236-3243
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume71
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997

Fingerprint

Hepatitis B virus
interleukin-12
Interleukin-12
Virus Replication
virus replication
Transgenic Mice
genetically modified organisms
mice
interferons
Antiviral Agents
Interferons
liver
Liver
kidneys
Kidney
immune response
antiviral agents
chronic hepatitis B
Hepatitis B Core Antigens
Nucleocapsid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Interleukin-12 inhibits hepatitis B virus replication in transgenic mice. / Cavanaugh, Victoria J.; Guidotti, Luca G.; Chisari, Francis V.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 71, No. 4, 04.1997, p. 3236-3243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cavanaugh, VJ, Guidotti, LG & Chisari, FV 1997, 'Interleukin-12 inhibits hepatitis B virus replication in transgenic mice', Journal of Virology, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 3236-3243.
Cavanaugh, Victoria J. ; Guidotti, Luca G. ; Chisari, Francis V. / Interleukin-12 inhibits hepatitis B virus replication in transgenic mice. In: Journal of Virology. 1997 ; Vol. 71, No. 4. pp. 3236-3243.
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