Author(s): Sharma R, Fu SM, Ju ST
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Abstract CD4(+) T-cell (Th) cytokines provide important regulatory and effector functions of T-cells. Among them, IL-2 plays a unique role. IL-2 is required for the generation and maintenance of regulatory T-cells (Treg) to provide lifelong protection from autoimmune disease. Whether IL-2 is also required for autoimmune disease development is less clear as Il2(-/)(-) mice themselves spontaneously develop multi-organ inflammation (MOI). In this communication, we discuss evidence that support the thesis that IL-2 is required for the development of autoimmune response, although some aspects of autoimmune response are not regulated by IL-2. Potential IL-2-dependent mechanisms operating at specific stages of the inflammation process are presented. The interplays among Treg, IL-2, autoimmune response and adaptive immunity are discussed. Overall, available information indicates that IL-2 is a two-faced master regulator of autoimmunity: one to prevent autoimmunity while the other promotes autoimmune response. The latter is an unfortunate consequence of IL-2 function that is used to promote the adaptive immune response against foreign antigens and pathogens. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Autoimmun
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology