IL-2 and IL-15 are thought to be important cytokines for T cell-dependent immune responses. Mice deficient in IL-2, IL-2Rα, and IL-2Rβ are each characterized by a rapid lethal autoimmune lymphoproliferative disorder that complicates their use in studies aimed at investigating the role of these cytokines and receptors for immune responses in vivo. We have previously characterized a novel transgenic (Tg) mouse on the IL-2Rβ-/- genetic background (Tg-/- mice) that lacks autoimmune disease but still contains peripheral T cells that are nonresponsive to IL-2 and IL-15. In the present study, these mice were used to investigate the extent by which IL-2 and IL-15 are essential for T cell immunity in vivo. Tg-/- mice generated near normal primary and secondary Ab responses to OVA, readily mounted first and second set allogeneic skin graft rejection responses, and developed primary and recall CD8 T cell responses to vaccinia virus. However, Tg-/- mice generated a slightly lower level of IgG2a Abs to OVA, exhibited a somewhat delayed first set skin graft rejection response with lower allo-specific CTL, and developed a significantly lower number of IFN-γ-producing vaccinia-specific CD8+ T cells. Thus, although T effector function is somewhat impaired, T cell immunity is largely functional in the absence of IL-2- and IL-15-induced signaling through IL-2Rβ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy