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Role of IL-2 in rat fetal thymocyte development.

Authors: Varas, A  Vicente, A  Romo, T  Zapata, AG 
Citation: Varas A, etal., Int Immunol. 1997 Oct;9(10):1589-99.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:9352365

Early during rat thymus ontogeny, an important proportion of thymocytes expresses IL-2R and contains IL-2 mRNA. To investigate the role of the IL-2-IL-2R complex in rat T cell maturation, we supplied either recombinant rat IL-2 or blocking anti-CD25 mAb to rat fetal thymus organ cultures (FTOC) under several experimental conditions. The IL-2 treatment initially stimulated the growth of thymocytes and, as a result, induced T cell differentiation, but the continuous addition of IL-2 to rat FTOC, as well as the anti-CD25 administration, resulted in cell number decrease and inhibition of thymocyte maturation. These results indicate that immature rat thymocytes bear functional high-affinity IL-2R and that IL-2 promotes T cell differentiation as a consequence of its capacity to stimulate cell proliferation. Modifications in TCR alpha beta repertoire and increased numbers of NKR-P1+ cells, largely NK cells, were also observed in IL-2-treated FTOC. Furthermore, IL-2-responsiveness of different thymocyte subsets changed throughout thymic ontogeny. Immature CD4-CD8-cells responded to IL-2 in two stages, early in thymus development and around birth, in correlation with the maturation of two distinct waves of thymic cell progenitors. Mature CD8+ thymocytes maximally responded to IL-2 around birth, supporting a role for IL-2 in the increased proliferation of mature thymocytes observed in vivo in the perinatal period. Taken together, these findings support a role for IL-2 in rat T cell development.


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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 1600138
Created: 2007-02-28
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2007-02-28
Status: ACTIVE


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