Interleukin 12 (IL-12), a multifunctional cytokine produced by macrophages and B-cell lines, induces interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production, stimulates growth of both T and natural killer cells, promotes Th1-type helper T-cell responses, and inhibits neovascularization. Because the human interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10) can also inhibit neovascularization, we tested whether IP-10, induced by IL-12 through the intermediate IFN-gamma, might be a mediator of IL-12 angiogenesis inhibition. We report here that murine IL-12 profoundly inhibited basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)- induced Matrigel neovascularization in vivo, and that this effect of IL- 12 was neutralized by systemic administration of antibodies to either murine IFN-gamma or IP-10. Murine IL-12 induced murine IP-10 expression in mouse splenocytes, and human IFN-gamma induced human IP-10 expression in purified human endothelial cells, suggesting that IL-12 can induce IP-10 expression in certain cells. These results document the important role of IP-10 as a mediator of angiogenesis inhibition by IL-12, and raise the possibility that IP-10 may also contribute to the antitumor effect of IL-12.

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