Inhibition of IL-12 Production by Thalidomide

David R. Moller, Maria Wysocka, Brian M. Greenlee, Xiaojing Ma, Larry Wahl, David A. Flockhart, Giorgio Trinchieri, Christopher L. Karp

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202 Scopus citations


The immunomodulatory properties of thalidomide are currently being exploited therapeutically in conditions as diverse as erythema nodosum leprosum, chronic graft-vs-host disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis. The relevant mechanism of action of thalidomide in these diseases remains unclear. The important role recently ascribed to IL-12, a cytokine critical to the development of cellular immune responses, in the pathogenesis of several of these conditions led us to examine whether thalidomide affects the production of IL-12. Thalidomide potently suppressed the production of IL-12 from human PBMC and primary human monocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. Thalidomide-induced inhibition of IL-12 production was additive to that induced by suboptimal inhibiting doses of dexamethasone, and occurred by a mechanism independent of known endogenous inhibitors of IL-12 production. These results suggest that thalidomide may have therapeutic utility in a wide range of immunologic disorders that are characterized by inappropriate cellular immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5157-5161
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Moller, D. R., Wysocka, M., Greenlee, B. M., Ma, X., Wahl, L., Flockhart, D. A., Trinchieri, G., & Karp, C. L. (1997). Inhibition of IL-12 Production by Thalidomide. Journal of Immunology, 159(10), 5157-5161.