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Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Feb 17;12(3):180-90. doi: 10.1038/nri3156.

The role of interleukin-2 during homeostasis and activation of the immune system.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Applied Immunobiology, University of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 30, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland. onur.boyman@uzh.ch

Abstract

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) signals influence various lymphocyte subsets during differentiation, immune responses and homeostasis. As discussed in this Review, stimulation with IL-2 is crucial for the maintenance of regulatory T (T(Reg)) cells and for the differentiation of CD4(+) T cells into defined effector T cell subsets following antigen-mediated activation. For CD8(+) T cells, IL-2 signals optimize both effector T cell generation and differentiation into memory cells. IL-2 is presented in soluble form or bound to dendritic cells and the extracellular matrix. Use of IL-2 - either alone or in complex with particular neutralizing IL-2-specific antibodies - can amplify CD8(+) T cell responses or induce the expansion of the T(Reg) cell population, thus favouring either immune stimulation or suppression.

PMID:
22343569
DOI:
10.1038/nri3156
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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