Intranasal interleukin-12 is a powerful adjuvant for protective mucosal immunity

Bernard P. Arulanandam, Margot O'Toole, Dennis W. Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The use of interleukin (IL)-12 as a new vaccine adjuvant for stimulating protective antiviral mucosal immunity has been examined. Mice were immunized intranasally (in) with an influenza vaccine consisting of soluble hemagglutinin (H1) and neuraminidase (N1) plus IL-12. This treatment resulted in elevated levels of lung and splenic interferon-γ and IL-10 mRNA. Total and IgG2a anti-H1N1 antibody levels in serum were significantly elevated, as were total, IgG1, IgG2a, and secretory IgA antibody levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids compared with animals receiving vaccine alone. Mice immunized in with vaccine and IL-12 also exhibited decreased weight loss and dramatically enhanced survival after lethal challenge with infectious influenza virus. Protection was dependent upon the presence of B cells and could be transferred to naive mice by inoculation of either serum or BAL fluid from IL-12-treated mice. These findings show for the first time that soluble IL-12 delivered in serves as a powerful respiratory adjuvant for protective antiviral immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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