Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most difficult cancers to treat. The interleukin (IL)-12 family cytokines, including IL-12, IL-23 and IL-27, display overlapping, but not redundant, roles in regulating lymphocyte subpopulations. IL-12 is known as a potent antitumor cytokine, whereas the results of the antitumor effect of IL-23 and IL-27 are inconsistent. The present study aimed to directly compare the relative antitumor efficacy of these three IL-12 family cytokines on HCC. Methods: A murine orthotopic BNL HCC model, in which the tumor is located in an environment heavily populated with different lymphocyte subsets, was established. The hepatotropic adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) vector was used to deliver the cytokine genes aiming to achieve sustained cytokine expression in the liver. Results: AAV8/IL-12 treatment significantly reduced hepatic metastases and prolonged survival time, whereas treatment with AAV8/IL-23 or AAV8/IL-27 had only moderate antitumor effects at a high dose. The antitumor efficacy of these cytokines was positively correlated with their ability to regulate hepatic T cells, natural killer cells and natural killer T cells, with IL-12 greatly increasing the number and activation status of these cells, whereas IL-27 had no effect and IL-23 had a negative effect. AAV8/IL-12 treatment also resulted in a marked decrease in tumor vessel density, which was not observed with AAV8/IL-23 and AAV8/IL-27 treatment. Conclusions: The data obtained in the present study highlight the importance of local lymphocytes and anti-angiogenesis for influencing the antitumor activity of these three IL-12 family cytokines and suggest that IL-12 is the best candidate for treating HCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Molecular Medicine
- Drug Discovery
Lo, C. H., Chang, C. M., Tang, S. W., Pan, W. Y., Fang, C. C., Chen, Y., Wu, P. Y., Chen, K. Y., Ma, H. I., Xiao, X., & Tao, M. H. (2010). Differential antitumor effect of interleukin-12 family cytokines on orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Gene Medicine, 12(5), 423-434. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgm.1452