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Nat Med. 2011 May;17(5):604-9. doi: 10.1038/nm.2365. Epub 2011 May 1.

A role for interleukin-2 trans-presentation in dendritic cell-mediated T cell activation in humans, as revealed by daclizumab therapy.

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Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Although previous studies have described CD25 expression and production of interleukin-2 (IL-2) by mature dendritic cells (mDCs), it remains unclear how these molecules participate in the activation of T cells. In search of the mechanisms by which daclizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against CD25, inhibits brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis, we observed that although the drug has limited effects on polyclonal T cell activation, it potently inhibits activation of antigen-specific T cells by mDCs. We show that mDCs (and antigen-experienced T cells) secrete IL-2 toward the mDC-T cell interface in an antigen-specific manner, and mDCs 'lend' their CD25 to primed T cells in trans to facilitate early high-affinity IL-2 signaling, which is crucial for subsequent T cell expansion and development of antigen-specific effectors. Our data reveal a previously unknown mechanism for the IL-2 receptor system in DC-mediated activation of T cells.

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