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Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a pleiotropic cytokine but its immunosuppressive effects predominate during many in vivo immunological challenges. Despite this, evidence from tumor cell line transfer models suggested that IL-27 could promote immune responses in the tumor context. However, the role of IL-27 in immunity against tumors that develop in situ and in tumor immunosurveillance remain undefined. In this study, we demonstrate that tumor development and growth are accelerated in IL-27 receptor α (Il27ra)-deficient mice. Enhanced tumor growth in both carcinogen-induced fibrosarcoma and oncogene-driven mammary carcinoma was associated with decreased interferon-γ production by CD4 and CD8 T cells and increased numbers of regulatory T-cells (Treg). This is the first study to show that IL-27 promotes protective immune responses against endogenous tumors, which is critical as the basis for future development of an IL-27 based therapeutic agent.


Karlo D T Natividad, Simon R Junankar, Norhanani Mohd Redzwan, Radhika Nair, Rushika C Wirasinha, Cecile King, Robert Brink, Alexander Swarbrick, Marcel Batten. Interleukin-27 signaling promotes immunity against endogenously arising murine tumors. PloS one. 2013;8(3):e57469

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PMID: 23554861

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