The administration of therapeutic doses of recombinant cytokines to patients with malignant disease can be complicated by systemic toxicities, which in their most severe form may present as a systemic inflammatory response. The combination of interleukin (IL)-18 and IL-12 has synergistic antitumor activity in vivo yet has been associated with significant toxicity. The effects of IL-18 plus IL-12 were examined in a murlne model, and it was found that the daily, simultaneous administration of IL-18 and IL-12 resulted in systemic inflammation and 100% mortality within 4 to 8 days depending on the strain employed. Mice treated with IL-18 plus IL-12 exhibited unique pathologic findings as well as elevated serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines and acute-phase reactants. The actions of tumor necrosis factor - α did not contribute to the observed toxicity, nor did T or B cells. However, toxicity and death from treatment with IL-18 plus IL-12 could be completely abrogated by elimination of natural killer (NK) cells or macrophages. Subsequent studies in genetically altered mice revealed that NK-cell interferon-γ mediated the fatal toxicity via the signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway of signal transduction. These data may provide insights into methods of ameliorating cytokine-induced shock in humans. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Aug 15 2000|