Systemic biodistribution of radioiodinated interleukin-2 in the rat
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a lymphokine capable of modulating a variety of immune functions. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown promising cytotoxic potential. Despite numerous ongoing clinical trials, however, little is known about the biodistribution of this lymphokine after in vivo administration. In this study using a rat model, the fate of radioiodinated human recombinant IL-2 (RIL-2) was analyzed by camera imaging, autoradiography, and well counting experiments. Camera imaging demonstrated the liver and kidney to be the organs of greatest radioactivity accumulation with peak liver uptake noted at approximately 10 min from onset of infusion, and peak kidney uptake at approximately 20 min. Autoradiographic assessment of selected organs (kidney, adrenal, liver, lung, and brain) revealed marked heterogeneity of uptake in the kidney and adrenal gland with preponderance of RIL-2 in the cortex of these organs. A more homogeneous distribution of RIL-2 uptake was noted in liver, lung, and brain parenchyma. Well counting confirmed the liver and kidney as the organs of greatest RIL-2 accumulation. Knowledge of the biodistribution of IL-2 may be of benefit both in studying mechanisms of toxicity and in designing novel therapeutic approaches.