Whole blood pharmacokinetics of intratumourally injected naked plasmid DNA coding for equine Interleukin 12 (IL-12) was assessed as a means of in vivo gene transfer in the treatment of melanoma in grey horses. The expression of induced interferon gamma (IFN-g) was evaluated in order to determine the pharmacodynamic properties of in vivo gene transduction. Seven grey horses bearing melanoma were injected intratumourally with 250 µg naked plasmid DNA coding for IL-12. Peripheral blood and biopsies from the injection site were taken at 13 time points until day 14 post injection (p.i.). Samples were analysed using quantitative real-time PCR. Plasmid DNA was quantified in blood samples and mRNA expression for IFN-g in tissue samples. Plasmid DNA showed fast elimination kinetics with more than 99 % of the plasmid disappearing within 36 hours. IFN-g expression increased quickly after IL-12 plasmid injection, but varied between individual horses. Intratumoural injection of plasmid DNA is a feasible method for inducing transgene expression in vivo. Biological activity of the transgene IL-12 was confirmed by measuring expression of IFN-g.