Construction of single-chain interleukin-12 DNA plasmid to treat airway hyperresponsiveness in an animal model of asthma

Yueh Lun Lee, Yi Ling Ye, Chun I. Yu, Ya Ling Wu, Yih Loong Lai, Ping Hung Ku, Ruey Long Hong, Bor Luen Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Allergic asthma is strongly associated with the airway inflammation caused by the dysregulated production of cytokines secreted by the allergen-specific type-2 T helper (Th2) cells. Interleukin (IL)-12 is a heterodimeric cytokine, which strongly promotes the differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells to the type-1 T helper (Th1) phenotype and suppresses the expression of Th2 cytokines. Therefore, immunotherapy with IL-12 has been suggested as a possible therapy for asthma. In previous studies, we developed a murine model of airway inflammation based on the purified, house dust-mite allergen Der p 1 (Dermatophagodies pteronyssinus) as a clinically relevant allergen. We hypothesized that the expression of IL-12 in the airway may represent an effective therapy for allergic airway diseases. In this study, we investigate whether the local transfer of the IL-12 gene to respiratory tissues modifies allergic inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) in our disease model. To enhance the in vivo delivery of the IL-12 gene, we expressed the murine single-chain IL-12 protein from a nonviral vector to which the two IL-12 subunits (p35 and p40) were linked by a 14- to 18-amino-acid linker. One of these single-chain IL-12s, containing an 18 amino-acid polypeptide linker, was stably expressed and had a high level of biological activity comparable to that of native IL-12 in vitro. In mice with Der p 1-induced asthma, the local administration of this IL-12 fusion gene into the lungs significantly prevented the development of AHR, abrogated airway eosinophilia, and inhibited type-2 cytokine production. These findings indicate that the local transfer of the single-chain IL-12 gene is effective in modulating pulmonary allergic responses and may be a convenient method for future applications of DNA vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2065-2079
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Construction of single-chain interleukin-12 DNA plasmid to treat airway hyperresponsiveness in an animal model of asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this