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Diabetes. 2015 Jun;64(6):2172-83. doi: 10.2337/db14-1322. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Selective IL-2 responsiveness of regulatory T cells through multiple intrinsic mechanisms supports the use of low-dose IL-2 therapy in type 1 diabetes.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
2
Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
3
Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Biotherapy (CIC-BTi) and Inflammation-Immunopathology-Biotherapy Department (I2B), Paris, France Sorbonne Université, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Univ Paris 06, Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR)-S 959, Immunology-Immunopathology-Immunotherapy (I3), Paris, France INSERM, UMR-S 959, Immunology-Immunopathology-Immunotherapy (I3), Paris, France.
4
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL Department of Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL tmalek@med.miami.edu.

Abstract

Low-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) inhibited unwanted immune responses in several clinical settings and is currently being tested in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Low-dose IL-2 selectively targets regulatory T cells (Tregs), but the mechanisms underlying this selectivity are poorly understood. We show that IL-2-dependent STAT5 activation in Tregs from healthy individuals and patients with T1D occurred at an ∼10-fold lower concentration of IL-2 than that required by T memory (TM) cells or by in vitro-activated T cells. This selective Treg responsiveness is explained by their higher expression of IL-2 receptor subunit α (IL-2Rα) and γ chain and also endogenous serine/threonine phosphatase protein phosphates 1 and/or 2A activity. Genome-wide profiling identified an IL-2-dependent transcriptome in human Tregs. Quantitative assessment of selected targets indicated that most were optimally activated by a 100-fold lower concentration of IL-2 in Tregs versus CD4(+) TM cells. Two such targets were selectively increased in Tregs from T1D patients undergoing low-dose IL-2 therapy. Thus, human Tregs possess an IL-2-dependent transcriptional amplification mechanism that widens their selective responses to low IL-2. Our findings support a model where low-dose IL-2 selectively activates Tregs to broadly induce their IL-2/IL-2R gene program and provide a molecular underpinning for low-dose IL-2 therapy to enhance Tregs for immune tolerance in T1D.

PMID:
25576057
DOI:
10.2337/db14-1322
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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