In vivo activity of plant-based interleukin-12 in the lung of Balb/c mouse

Carla Snchez-Hernndez, Abel Gutiérrez-Ortega, Diana Aguilar-Leán, Rogelio Hernndez-Pando, Miguel Gámez-Lim, Beatriz Gámez-García

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background. In the last years, plants are being used for the production of a wide variety of biopharmaceuticals, including cytokines, and have the potential to serve as vehicles for mucosal administration of these molecules. We had previously reported the expression of a cytokine, interleukin-12 (IL-12), in transgenic tomato plants and had demonstrated that it retained its biologic activity in vitro. Findings. In this work, we administered crude extracts of IL-12-containing tomato fruits to mice through the intratracheal route, measuring endogenous IL-12 and determining biologic activity by quantification of interferon-gamma (IFN-) in lungs and by histological analysis. IFN- expression in lungs, as well as histological analysis, indicate that tomato-expressed IL-12 retains its biologic activity and, most importantly, its effects are restricted to the site of administration. Conclusion. Our results indicate that the functional activity of tomato-expressed IL-12 is comparable to that of commercial recombinant IL-12 when given via the mucosal route. This opens the possibility of using crude extracts prepared from tomatoes expressing IL-12 for certain immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
JournalBMC Research Notes
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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