CD4 regulatory T cells prevent lethal autoimmunity in IL-2Rβ-deficient mice: Implications for the nonredundant function of IL-2

Thomas R. Malek, Aixin Yu, Vladimir Vincek, Paul Scibelli, Lin Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

600 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lethal autoimmunity associated with IL-2Rβ-deficient mice is prevented after thymic transgenic expression of wild-type IL-2Rβ in IL-2Rβ-/- mice (Tg -/- mice). Here, we show that CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells were not readily detected in IL-2Rβ-/- mice, but the production of functional CD4+CD25+ T cells was reconstituted in Tg -/- mice. Adoptive transfer of normal CD4+CD25+ T cells into neonatal IL-2Rβ-deficient mice prevented this lethal autoimmune syndrome. The CD4+CD25+ T cells in disease-free adult IL-2Rβ-deficient recipient mice were present at a near normal frequency, were solely donor-derived, and depended on IL-2 for expansion. These observations indicate that the essential function of the IL-2/IL-2R system primarily lies at the level of the production of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
JournalImmunity
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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