Corneal endothelial cells inhibit T cell proliferation by blocking IL-2 production

Hidetoshi Kawashima, Shiv A. Prasad, Dale S. Gregerson

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48 Scopus citations


We have reported that Ia+ LEW rat corneal endothelial (CE) cells could not induce Ag-specific proliferation of MHC compatible T cell lines. Instead, the presence of CE cell monolayers inhibited T cell proliferation assays. We now report on the effect of CE cells on IL-2 production, IL-2R expression, and IL-2 responsiveness of T cells. Ag-specific growth inhibition of the 1C3,4 T cell hybridoma was unaffected by the presence of CE cells but IL-2 production was suppressed by CE cells. Similar CE cell-mediated inhibition of IL-2 secretion was found with fresh splenic lymphocytes stimulated by Con A. Controls showed that neither CE cells nor their supernatant affected the CTLL cell response to rIL-2, allowing reliable measurement of IL-2 production. Further evidence that the block is at the level of IL-2 production was shown by the observation that IL-2R expression was up-regulated after TCR occupancy whether or not CE cells were present. Also, T cells expressing IL-2R were responsive to exogenous rIL-2 whether or not CE cells were present. CE cells themselves do not induce IL-2R expression or IL-2 responsiveness. Under normal culture conditions, the R1170 rat T cell line continually expresses a significant level of IL-2R and dies before IL-2R is down-regulated to background levels. However, in the presence of CE cells, these R1170 cells down-regulate IL-2R and lose IL-2 responsiveness while remaining viable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1982-1989
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994


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