Medical Definition of Interleukin-12

1. A 75 kD heterodimeric cytokine composed of disulfide-bonded 40 kD and 35 kD subunits that was originally identified by its ability to induce cytotoxic effector cells in synergy with less than optimal concentrations of interleukin-2. It is released by macrophages in response to infection and promotes the activation of cell-mediated immunity. Specifically, IL-12 triggers the maturation of Thl CD4 cells, specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses and an increase in the activity of NK cells and consequently, it is the initiator of cell-mediated immunity. It enhances the lytic activity of NK cells, induces interferon production, stimulates the proliferation of activated T-cells and NK cells. Is secreted by human B lymphoblastoid cells (NC 37). May play a role in controlling immunoglobulin isotype selection as it also inhibits IgE synthesis (even in the presence of anti-IFN monoclonal antibody) and as a growth factor for activated CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells independently of interleukin-2, and for CD56+ NK cells but not resting peripheral blood mononuclear cells or resting or activated tonsillar B-cells. It is likely that interleukin 12 has a major role in protective immunity against viruses and is under study as an immunotherapy in HIV infection. Formerly referred to as cytotoxic lymphocyte maturation factor. Acronym: IL-12 (12 Dec 1998)



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Lexicographical Neighbors of Interleukin-12

interleague
interleave
interleaved
interleaves
interleaving
interleavings
interlegislative
interlend
interlending
interlends
interlent
interleukin
interleukin-1
interleukin-10
interleukin-11
interleukin-12 (current term)
interleukin-13
interleukin-14
interleukin-15
interleukin-16
interleukin-1 converting enzyme
interleukin-2
interleukin-3
interleukin-4
interleukin-5
interleukin-6
interleukin-7
interleukin-8
interleukin-9
interleukine

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