Inhibition of IL-2 production by Nil-2-a in murine T cells

Sabina Pucci, Gino Doria, Simona Barile, Claudio Pioli, Daniela Frasca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The loss of IL-2 production is the main defect accounting for age-related immunodeficiencies. We have investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in the decrease of IL-2 production in CD4+ T cells from aging mice. Our results demonstrate that the stability of IL-2 mRNA increases in T cells from young mice, whereas it declines in T cells from old mice with the time of stimulation, suggesting the existence of different mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation in young and old mice. We found that the IL-2 mRNA level in T cells from young but not from old mice increased up to 6- to 10-fold by addition of cycloheximide (CHX) while the stability of IL-2 mRNA is not affected. We then looked for IL-2 inducible inhibitory factors in T cells from young and old mice and demonstrated the presence of Nil-2-a, a zinc finger protein which negatively controls IL-2 gene transcription in human cells. This protein could be detected in T cells from both young and old mice, yet, in the presence of CHX, its binding activity was reduced by 75% in T cells from young but not from old mice. These findings show that Nil-2-a accounts for the negative control of IL-2 production in the mouse and explain the reduced IL-2 production in aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1440
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • IL-2 mRNA stability
  • Inhibitory nuclear factors
  • Nil-2-a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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