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Recombinant bovine IL-12 (rbo IL-12) was transiently expressed in COS-7 cells and shown to upregulate the synthesis of IFNgamma by bovine cells stimulated with a suboptimal concentration of mitogen in vitro. Mice were immunised with a plasmid encoding rbo IL-12 and boosted with rbo IL-12 and a number of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were generated that reacted with rbo IL-12 in an ELISA. Some of these mAb neutralised the ability of rbo IL-12 to induce IFNgamma synthesis by bovine cells. A pair of mAb was identified that together could be used to detect both recombinant and natural bovine IL-12 by ELISA and a luminometric detection method was applied to the ELISA making it more sensitive. Using this method native bovine IL-12 was detected in supernatants of dendritic cells (DC) cultured in vitro with a synthetic lipopeptide known to stimulate secretion of IL-12 by human DC. The ELISA was also able to detect recombinant ovine IL-12 and, less effectively, recombinant human IL-12. In contrast, bovine IL-12 was not detected by a commercial human IL-12 ELISA kit. Intracytoplasmic IL-12 was detected in bovine DC using the antibodies described herein. The ability to detect ruminant IL-12 by three methods: ELISA, bioassay with neutralising mAb and cytoplasmic staining, will permit studies of the role of this important cytokine in the immunology and pathogenesis of animal diseases.


Journal article


J Immunol Methods

Publication Date





117 - 126


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, COS Cells, Cattle, Cells, Cultured, Cytoplasm, Dendritic Cells, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Humans, Interleukin-12, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Neutralization Tests, Recombinant Proteins, Sheep