Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 2007 Feb 15;178(4):2018-27.

IL-2 is essential for TGF-beta to convert naive CD4+CD25- cells to CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells and for expansion of these cells.

Author information

  • 1Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


IL-2 and TGF-beta both have important roles in the induction and maintenance of immunologic tolerance, but whether these cytokines act separately or together to achieve this effect is poorly understood. Although others have reported that IL-2 can directly enhance forkhead box protein P3 (Foxp3) transcription factor expression by natural CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells, in this study, we report that the role of IL-2 on the generation of peripheral regulatory CD4(+) cells is indirect. Ab neutralization studies and experiments with IL-2-deficient mice have revealed that IL-2 is required for TGF-beta to induce naive CD4(+)CD25(-) cells to become CD25(+) and express Foxp3, and develop the characteristic properties of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory cells. This effect of IL-2 on the generation and expansion of these adaptive Foxp3(+) regulatory cells is nonredundant, but IL-4, IL-7, and IL-15, other common gamma-chain cytokines, could sustain Foxp3 expression. Because subjects with autoimmune diseases often have defects in the production of IL-2 and/or TGF-beta, the generation of autologous T regulatory cells ex vivo with these cytokines for transfer in vivo may have considerable therapeutic potential.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk