National Institute of Animal Health (NIAH)

Topics in Animal Health Research 2002

01. Large-scale production of porcine interleukin-18 (IL-18) in silkworms


A hybrid baculovirus expression system, which means a hybrid virus of the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus and the Bombyx mori nuclear polyhedrosis virus, was used for the large-scale production of porcine interleukin-18 (IL-18) in silkworms.  Two recombinant hybrid baculoviruses containing cDNA of the porcine precursor IL-18 and the porcine caspase-1 were constructed and used to infect silkworm larvae.  After the co-infection of the two viruses, porcine mature IL-18 was efficiently produced in the haemolymph.  The concentration of IL-18 in the haemolymph was 80-100 μg/ml.  The porcine mature IL-18 produced by this system strongly induced interferon-γ (IFN-γ) production from porcine PBMC. (Immune System Section, Department of Immunology TEL +81-29-838-7857)


  • Muneta et al. (2001) J. Interferon Cytokine Res. 21:125-130. 
  • Muneta et al. (2003) J. Vet. Med. Sci. 65:219-223.