This study was designed to establish an interleukin-12 (IL-12)-expressing murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cell vaccine (LLC/murine IL-12 [mIL-12]) and assess its antitumor efficacy and mechanism in vivo. The recombinant IL-12 plasmid was transfected into LLC cells and screened by G418, and positive clones were obtained. C57BL/6 tumor-bearing mouse model was established and tumor-bearing mice were randomly divided into three groups (n = 20), that is, treated with an intratumoral injection of phosphate-buffered solution, blank plasmid, or LLC/mIL-12 vaccine, respectively, at days 0, 7, and 14. Tumor size was measured before and after treatment. Tumor growth curve was plotted, cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity assay and natural killer (NK) cell activity assay were performed, CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocyte were quantitated using flow cytometry, and the expression of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-12, and interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) in serum was detected by ELISA. Microvessel density was determined by immunohistochemistry after all mice were euthanized at day 21. The study revealed suppressed tumor growth, elevated levels of IFN-gamma, IP-10, and IL-12, augmented NK and CTL cell activities, and decreased microvessel density of tumor tissues. There were abundant CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocyte infiltration in the vaccine group. This study demonstrated that the antitumor mechanism of LLC/mIL-12 vaccine was to promote IFN-gamma and IL-12 secretion, augment the NK and CTL cell activities, and decrease the microvessel density of tumors.