Impacts of interleukin-12 on multiplication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium complex in mice

Nacer Lounis, Baohong Ji, Chantal Truffot-Pernot, Robert G. Ridley, Gottfried Alber, Jacques H. Grosset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To evaluate the potential impacts of exogenous administration of murine recombinant interleukin-12 (IL-12) on multiplication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. avium complex (MAC) in murine models. Methods: Swiss or beige mice were infected intravenously with M. tuberculosis H37Rv or MAC respectively, and were treated by subcutaneous injection with various doses of IL-12, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Effectiveness of treatment was assessed by the enumeration of CFUs in the spleens and lungs, together with other indicators. Results: Multiplication of M. tuberculosis was reduced by IL-12 in a dose-dependent manner if the treatment began at day 1, whereas no statistically significant suppression was observed if the treatment began at day 14. Combination with IL-12 did not enhance the bactericidal activity of antituberculosis chemotherapy. The growth curves of MAC in IL-12-treated mice were almost identical to those of untreated controls, indicating that IL-12 did not affect the multiplication of MAC in beige mice. In both experiments, the dosing of IL-12 approached levels of severe toxicity for the mouse strains used. Conclusions: IL-12 had a positive affect on early multiplication of M. tuberculosis. It had no effect on early multiplication of M. avium complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999



  • Mycobacterium avium complex
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Recombinant interleukin-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this