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Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 May;15(5):283-94. doi: 10.1038/nri3823. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

The promise of low-dose interleukin-2 therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

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1] Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMRS 959, Immunology-Immunopathology-Immunotherapy (i3), F-75651 Paris, France. [2] INSERM, UMRS 959, Immunology-Immunopathology-Immunotherapy (i3), F-75005 Paris, France. [3] Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Biotherapy and Département Hospitalo-Universitaire Inflammation-Immunopathology-Biotherapy (i2B), F-75651 Paris, France.
Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, California 94143-0511, USA.


Depletion of regulatory T (TReg) cells in otherwise healthy individuals leads to multi-organ autoimmune disease and inflammation. This indicates that in a normal immune system, there are self-specific effector T cells that are ready to attack normal tissue if they are not restrained by TReg cells. The data imply that there is a balance between effector T cells and TReg cells in health and suggest a therapeutic potential of TReg cells in diseases in which this balance is altered. Proof-of-concept clinical trials, now supported by robust mechanistic studies, have shown that low-dose interleukin-2 specifically expands and activates TReg cell populations and thus can control autoimmune diseases and inflammation.

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