Experimentally, interleukin-2 (IL-2) exerts complex immunological functions promoting the proliferation, survival and activation of T cells on one hand and inducing immune regulatory mechanisms on the other. This complexity results from a cross talk among immune cells which sways the effects of IL-2 according to the experimental or clinical condition tested. Recombinant IL-2 (rIL-2) stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 47 donors of different genetic background induced generalized T cell activation and anti-apoptotic effects. Most effects were dependent upon interactions among immune cells. Specialized functions of CD4 and CD8 T cells were less dependent upon and often dampened by the presence of other PBMC populations. In particular, cytotoxic T cell effector function was variably affected with a component strictly dependent upon the direct stimulation of CD8 T cells in the absence of other PBMC. This observation may provide a roadmap for the interpretation of the discrepant biological activities of rIL-2 observed in distinct pathological conditions or treatment modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)