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Open Access Comparison of Vascular Leak Syndrome in Mice Treated with IL21 or IL2

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Interleukin 21 (IL21) is a T-cell–derived 4-helix–bundle cytokine that has sequence homology to the IL2 family. Recombinant human interleukin 2 (rIL2) is approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. However, toxicity of rIL2, including induction of vascular leak syndrome (VLS), has limited use of this cytokine to a small proportion of eligible patients. Both rIL2 and murine IL21 (mIL21) have potent antitumor efficacy in murine models. The purpose of the current study was to compare the ability of mIL21 and rIL2 to induce vascular leakage in a mouse model. Pulmonary and hepatic uptake of Evans blue dye, serum cytokine levels, spleen cell immunophenotype, and histologic changes in lung and liver were evaluated to detect VLS. High-dose (200 μg) rIL2 treatment induced vascular leakage in mice, evidenced by inflammatory cell infiltration and fluid extravasation into the lung and liver and increased levels of TNFα, IFNγ, IL5, MCP1, and IL6 in serum. In contrast, an equivalent dose of mIL21 resulted in minimal vascular leakage with no evidence of cytopenia or cytokine production. These results support the use of IL21 as a cancer immunotherapeutic agent, potentially providing an antitumor response without induction of VLS.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ZymoGenetics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Seattle, Washington 2: ZymoGenetics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Seattle, Washington, USA 3: ZymoGenetics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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