Interleukin 12 gene transfer into skin distant from the tumor site elicits antimetastatic effects equivalent to local gene transfer

K. Oshikawa, A. L. Rakhmilevich, F. Shi, P. M. Sondel, N. S. Yang*, D. M. Mahvi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We have reported that particle-mediated interleukin 12 (IL-12) gene transfer into the skin overlying the local tumor inhibits systemic metastases. To further characterize this effect, we compared the antitumor and antimetastatic effects of IL-12 cDNA delivered at the local tumor site versus at a site distant from the primary tumor, in a spontaneous metastasis model of LLC-F5 tumor. Local IL-12 gene delivery into the skin overlying the intradermal tumor (local IL-12 treatment) on days 7, 9, and 11 after tumor implantation resulted in the most suppression of the growth of the primary LLC-F5 tumor, whereas IL-12 gene transfer into the skin distant from the tumor (distant IL-12 treatment) was less effective. In contrast, both local IL-12 and distant IL-12 treatment, followed by tumor excision, inhibited lung metastases to a similar extent, resulting in significantly extended survival of test mice. The results of in vivo studies using depleting anti-asialo GM1 antibody and anti-CD4/anti-CD8 monoclonal antibodies, or neutralizing anti-interferon γ (IFN-γ) monoclonal antibody demonstrated that natural killer (NK) cells, CD8+ T cells, and IFN-γ contributed to the antimetastatic effects in both treatment groups. Furthermore, the levels of mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix methalloproteinase 9 at the tumor microenvironment were suppressed after both local and distant IL-12 treatment. These results suggest that the current particle-mediated IL-12 gene delivery in the spontaneous LLC-F5 metastasis model can confer antimetastatic activities, irrespective of the gene transfection site, via a combination of several mechanisms involving CD8+ T cells, NK cells, IFN-γ, and antiangiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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