The toxicology of interleukin-12: a review

Toxicol Pathol. Jan-Feb 1999;27(1):58-63. doi: 10.1177/019262339902700112.


Recombinant murine interleukin (IL)-12 (rmIL-12) exhibits antitumor, antiviral, and antimicrobial activities and can modify allergic inflammatory reactions in animal models. Recombinant human IL-12 (rhIL-12) is currently in clinical trials for treatment of cancer, asthma, and viral hepatitis. Principally a phagocyte-derived cytokine, IL-12 targets natural killer cells and T lymphocytes, stimulating their activity and the secretion of interferon (IFN)-gamma. An understanding of the toxicology of IL-12, due in part to effects mediated by IFN-gamma, has emerged from preclinical safety and mechanistic studies and initial clinical trials. Target organs common to several animal species and humans include the lymphohematopoietic system, intestines, liver, and lung.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12 / toxicity*
  • Recombinant Proteins / toxicity


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Interleukin-12