Quantitative assessment concerning the contribution of IL-2Rβ for superantigen-mediated T cell responses in vivo

Haoli Jin, Dennis Adeegbe, Allison L. Bayer, Cleo Rolle, Aixin Yu, Thomas R. Malek

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13 Scopus citations


IL-2- and IL-2R-deficient mice readily develop T cell-dependent immune responses in vivo, but the relevance of this finding is complicated by severe concurrent autoimmunity. Furthermore, the detection of such responses does not address whether under normal circumstances IL-2 dominates T cell immunity. In the present report, we investigated the extent IL-2-independent T cell growth is mediated by other cytokines in the IL-2 family and compared such responses to those generated by IL-2/ IL-2R-sufficient T cells. T cell expansion and contraction to the superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) by autoimmune-free IL-2Rβ-/- CD4 and CD8 T cells were comparable to normal control mice, although their CD8+ T cells did not optimally develop into IFNγ-producing effector cells. The proliferation by these IL-2Rβ-deficient T cells in vivo was independent of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-15 and not blocked by mAbs to the common γ chain. However, in co-adoptive transfer experiments, wild-type T cells exhibited somewhat more extensive proliferation than IL-2Rβ-deficient T cells to SEA and this difference was almost entirely accounted for by CD8+ T cells. Collectively, these data indicate that substantial T cell proliferation occurs in the absence of responsiveness to cytokines in the IL-2 family, although maximal T cell proliferation and development of IFNγ-producing effector CD8+ T cells depend upon IL-2Rβ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Cell proliferation
  • Cytokine receptors
  • Cytokines
  • Superantigen
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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