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


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.

Type Journal
Authors Boyman, O.; Sprent, J.
Published Date 2012-02-22
Published Volume 12
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 180-90
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1038/nri3156
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version