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J Immunol. 1992 May 1;148(9):2845-52.

Prostaglandin E2 and other cyclic AMP-elevating agents modulate IL-2 and IL-2R alpha gene expression at multiple levels.

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Kidney Disease Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


cAMP is an intracellular second messenger that conveys inhibitory signals for T cell activation and clonal proliferation. cAMP also inhibits the production of IL-2 and IL-2R alpha-chain expression. To determine the mechanisms of this inhibition, human peripheral blood T lymphocytes were stimulated with anti-CD3 mAb, PHA, PMA, or ionomycin, alone or in combination. cAMP elevation by PGE2, cholera toxin, or the cell-permeable analogue 8-bromo-cAMP inhibited the tyrosine phosphorylation of a protein of 100 kDa. This inhibition was associated with decreased IL-2 production and IL-2R alpha expression at both the protein product and the mRNA levels. Nuclear run-off assays showed that the inhibitory effect of cAMP on IL-2 and IL-2R alpha gene expression is mediated at the transcriptional level. H-8, an inhibitor of protein kinase A, reversed the inhibitory effect of cAMP on nuclear transcription of the IL-2 gene, suggesting that this is mediated through activation of protein kinase A. Post-transcriptionally, cAMP elevation decreased the t1/2 of IL-2 mRNA by more than 50%. These data indicate that cAMP inhibits cell membrane, cytoplasmic, and nuclear events associated with T cell activation and highlight the complexities of its action of lymphocyte function.

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