Abstract

In mice with targeted disruption of the gene that encodes interleukin-6 (IL-6), greatly reduced numbers of immunoglobulin A (IgA)-producing cells were observed at mucosae and grossly deficient local antibody responses were recorded after mucosal challenge with either ovalbumin or vaccinia virus. The IgA response in the lungs was completely restored after intranasal infection with recombinant vaccinia viruses engineered to express IL-6. These findings demonstrate a critical role for IL-6 in vivo in the development of local IgA antibody responses and illustrate the effectiveness of vector-directed cytokine gene therapy.

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