Essential role for interleukin-2 for CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cell development during the neonatal period

Allison L. Bayer, Aixin Yu, Dennis Adeegbe, Thomas R. Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Although many aspects of CD4+CD25+ T regulatory (Treg) cell development remain largely unknown, signaling through the IL-2R represents one feature for the production of Treg cells. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to further define early developmental steps in the production of Treg cells, including a more precise view on the role of interleukin (IL)-2 in this process. After adoptive transfer of wild-type Treg cells into neonatal IL-2Rβ -/- mice, only a small fraction of donor Treg cells selectively seeded the lymph node (LN). These donor Treg cells underwent rapid and extensive IL-2-dependent proliferation, followed by subsequent trafficking to the spleen. Thus, IL-2 is essential for T reg cell proliferation in neonatal LN. The number and distribution of Treg cells in the periphery of normal neonatal mice closely paralleled that seen for IL-2Rβ-/- mice that received T reg cells. However, for normal neonates, blockade of IL-2 decreased Treg cells in both the thymus and LN. Therefore, two steps of T reg cell development depend upon IL-2 in neonatal mice, thymus production, and subsequent expansion in the LN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-777
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 7 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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