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Immunity. 2013 Jan 24;38(1):13-25. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.01.004.

Interleukin-2 at the crossroads of effector responses, tolerance, and immunotherapy.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Immunology Center, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1674, USA.

Abstract

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a pleiotropic cytokine produced after antigen activation that plays pivotal roles in the immune response. Discovered as a T cell growth factor, IL-2 additionally promotes CD8(+) T cell and natural killer cell cytolytic activity and modulates T cell differentiation programs in response to antigen, promoting naïve CD4(+) T cell differentiation into T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) cells while inhibiting T helper 17 (Th17) and T follicular helper (Tfh) cell differentiation. Moreover, IL-2 is essential for the development and maintenance of T regulatory cells and for activation-induced cell death, thereby mediating tolerance and limiting inappropriate immune reactions. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms and complex cellular actions of IL-2, its cooperative and opposing effects with other cytokines, and how both promoting and blocking the actions of IL-2 are being utilized in clinical medicine.

PMID:
23352221
PMCID:
PMC3610532
DOI:
10.1016/j.immuni.2013.01.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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