Augmentation of cell-mediated immunotherapy against herpes simplex virus by interleukins: comparison of in vivo effects of IL-2 and IL-7 on adoptively transferred T cells

Vaccine. 1997 Apr;15(5):561-3. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(96)00212-5.


We investigated the ability of human recombinant interleukin-7 (IL-7) to enhance cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity in vivo using mice infected with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1). IL-7 or interleukin-2 (IL-2) was administered twice daily to immune naive mice subjected to adoptive transfer of immune T cells after infection with HSV-1. The immunotherapeutic effect was measured by detecting the virus recovered from pinna. Administration of HSV-1 immune T cells to naive mice significantly increased their ability to clear the virus. Twice-daily injections of IL-7 at 200 IU provided an additional 20-fold reduction in virus load, compared with T cell therapy alone (P < 0.0005). Combining IL-2 and T cell therapy provided about a sevenfold reduction compared with T cell therapy alone (P < 0.0009). IL-7 also enhanced the antiviral effects of T cell therapy against HSV-1 through the enhancement of CD8+ CTLs, as observed with IL-2. These results indicate that IL-7 may be used adjunct to adoptive T lymphocyte therapy in modulating human viral diseases and cancer through enhanced immune T cell activities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Herpes Simplex / therapy*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Interleukin-7 / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Viral Load


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-7
  • Recombinant Proteins