IL-12-mediated increases in protection elicited by pneumococcal and meningococcal conjugate vaccines

Renee M. Buchanan, David E. Briles, Bernard P. Arulanandam, M. A.Julie Westerink, Roberta H. Raeder, Dennis W. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Interleukin-12 (IL-12) may be a beneficial adjuvant for augmenting vaccine efficacy against encapsulated bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis since it can stimulate production of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and secretion of antibody isotypes that are efficient at mediating complement fixation and opsonophagocytosis. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of IL-12 to enhance murine antibody responses, particularly IgG2a levels, to both pneumococcal and meningococcal conjugate vaccines. Transfer of immune serum from mice immunized with the meningococcal conjugate vaccine and IL-12 resulted in increased survival times, whereas transfer of serum from mice immunized with the pneumococcal conjugate and IL-12 resulted in protection from death upon bacterial challenge. Although treatment with vaccine and IL-12 increased levels of IFN-γ mRNA, IL-12-mediated enhancement of antibody responses still occurred in IFN-γ-/- mice. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of IL-12 as an adjuvant for polysaccharide conjugate vaccines, especially the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2020-2028
Number of pages9
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Feb 28 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant
  • Humoral immunity
  • IL-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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