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Eur J Immunol. 1989 Jun;19(6):1137-45.

Interleukin 2 receptor expression and interleukin 2 production in exponentially growing T cells: major differences between in vivo and in vitro proliferating T lymphocytes.

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Unité INSERM U 25, UA 122 CNRS, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.


In the present study we have assessed the growth requirements for in vivo proliferating mature T cells. For that purpose we have selected experimental approaches which allow the study of exponential growth in vivo of a major fraction of T cells, and make it possible to obtain large numbers of T cells in cycle. Two types of growing T cell populations were used: peripheral T lymphocytes, proliferating exponentially after transfer into syngeneic athymic nude mice, and activated T cells in lymph nodes of normal mice draining the site of oxazolone administration. The results obtained show that mature T cell growth in vivo is not accompanied by expression of high-affinity interleukin 2 (IL2) receptor in the majority of activated cells, is not abrogated by in vivo administration of anti-IL2 receptor antibodies or enhanced by the in vivo injection of recombinant IL2, and that in vivo growing T cells do not produce detectable amounts of IL2, as evaluated functionally by limiting dilution assays or the presence of IL2 mRNA, detected by Northern blots or in situ hybridization. The presented data thus indicate that the rules known to apply to T cell activation and proliferation in vitro differ from those used by in vivo growing T lymphocytes, at least in the two systems studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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