Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimeric cytokine that is a principal mediator of the innate immune response and modulator of acquired cell-mediated immunity. Administration of exogenous IL-12 can direct the host adaptive T cell response toward a type 1 phenotype. The co-administration of IL-12 with vaccine antigens has been shown to augment the vaccine-induced TH1 response and protection against intracellular pathogens. We show here that a canine IL-12 DNA, constructed by fusing the p35 and p40 subunit cDNAs with an interspacing linker, generated stable IL-12 transcripts when placed under control of a strong constitutive promoter. The protein expressed from this fused cDNA was fully functional in promoting a type 1 (IFN-γ) and suppressing a type 2 (IL-4) cytokine response following both in vitro transfection of a canine cell line and in vivo delivery to dogs. This DNA construct may be useful as an adjuvant for vaccines that target tumors or intracellular pathogens of the dog.
- Vaccine adjuvant
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