Interleukin-12 and interleukin-2 alone or in combination against the infection in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis mouse model

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Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus

is an intracellular opportunistic fungus causing invasive pulmonary mycosis, characterised by hyphal invasion and destruction of pulmonary tissue. Th1 cytokines could enhance fungicidal activity. The effects from the combination of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-2 are rarely known in invasive pulmonary aspergillosis infection. To assess the cleaning of A. fumigatus infection in the pulmonary tissues by IL-12 and IL-2, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was detected in the sera using ELISA, quantification of IFN-γ mRNA using real-time RT-PCR and lung Colony-forming unit was assayed by cultivation. Morphology was analysed by histopathological examination. Our results showed that IL-12 and/or IL-2 could enhance the IFN-γ expression in the pulmonary tissue, reduce the colony load in the pulmonary tissue and increase the survival rate of mouse. The combination of IL-12 and IL-2 could assist in increasing the IFN-γ expression in the pulmonary tissue, but neither reduce colony load in the pulmonary tissue nor increase the survival rate of mouse significantly. It was demonstrated that IL-12 and IL-2 were strong immunomodulatory cytokines as a prerequisite for protecting the host from infectious agents.

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