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EMBO Rep. 2007 Dec;8(12):1142-8.

Interleukin 2: from immunostimulation to immunoregulation and back again.

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  • 1Cytos Biotechnology AG, Wagistrasse 25, 8952 Zürich-Schlieren, Switzerland. martin.bachmann@cytos.com


Interleukin 2 (IL-2) was one of the first cytokines to be discovered. However, the complex role of IL-2 and its receptor in the regulation of immune responses is only now emerging. This review explores the various signals triggered by IL-2 and discusses their translation into biological function. A model is outlined that accommodates the seemingly contradictory functions of IL-2, and explains how one cytokine can be an essential T-cell growth and differentiation factor and yet also be indispensable to maintain peripheral tolerance.

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