The relative efficacy of mucosal (intratracheal) and systemic (intraperitoneal) delivery of interleukin (IL)-12 was evaluated in a mouse model of allergic lung eosinophilia. Mucosal administration of IL-12 achieved 100- to 600-fold higher bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) levels of IL-12, but 2- to 10-fold lower serum levels compared to systemic administration. Whereas both mucosal and systemic IL-12 inhibited BAL eosinophil recruitment at high doses (100-1000 ng), only mucosal IL-12 was effective at low doses (1-10 ng). Mucosal, but not systemic, administration of 1000 ng of IL-12 increased interferon (IFN)-γ expression in BAL cells. In a model of ongoing eosinophilic inflammation, when mucosal or systemic IL-12 doses were initiated prior to peak eosinophilia, further eosinophil recruitment was inhibited. However, when IL-12 treatment was initiated after peak eosinophil recruitment occurred, recovery from eosinophilic inflammation was not facilitated. Our findings are the first to demonstrate that locally administered IL-12 inhibits eosinophil recruitment at 100-fold lower doses than systemic IL-12. The most likely mechanism of this enhanced inhibitory activity is a sustained increase in lung levels of IL-12 that augments IFN-γ production from BAL cells. We suggest that future studies should evaluate the efficacy of low doses of nebulized IL-12 in inhibiting eosinophilic lung inflammation in asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Biochemistry