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J Immunol. 1991 Apr 1;146(7):2285-96.

Cyclic AMP directly inhibits IL-2 receptor expression in human T cells: expression of both p55 and p75 subunits is affected.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


Using purified human T lymphocytes stimulated in serum-free media with adhered anti-CD3 + exogenous IL-2, we have shown that elevated [cAMP]i (mimicked by CPT-cAMP or induced by the physiological agonist PGE2) directly inhibits mitogen-induced 1) [3H]thymidine incorporation by PBMC, purified T cells, and isolated CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subpopulations; 2) expression of both high- and low-affinity IL-2 receptors; 3) plasma membrane expression of both p55 and p75 subunits of the IL-2 receptor; and 4) expression of p55 mRNA, but not p75 mRNA. The decrease in p55 mRNA is not due to enhanced mRNA metabolism. We conclude that elevated [cAMP]i, acting directly on T cells, inhibits mitogenesis by decreasing IL-2 receptor expression. We discuss the possible physiological relevance for the multiple stages of T cell activation that are sensitive to elevated [cAMP]i.

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