Essential role for IL-2 in the regulation of antiviral extralymphoid CD8 T cell responses

Warren N. D'Souza, Kimberly S. Schluns, David Masopust, Leo Lefrançois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


IL-2 is a cytokine produced primarily by activated T cells and is thought to be the quintessential T cell growth factor. The precise role of IL-2 in the regulation of CD8 T cell responses to foreign Ag in vivo however remains enigmatic. Using an adoptive transfer system with IL-2- or IL-2R-deficient TCR transgenic CD8 T cells and MHC class I tetramers, we demonstrated that the expansion of antiviral CD8 T cells in secondary lymphoid tissues was IL-2 independent, whereas IL-2 played a more significant role in supporting the continued expansion of these cells within nonlymphoid tissues. Paradoxically, autocrine IL-2 negatively regulated the overall magnitude of the CD8 T cell response in nonlymphoid tissues via a Fas-independent mechanism. Furthermore, autocrine IL-2 did not regulate the contraction or memory phase of the response. These experiments identified a novel role for IL-2 in regulation of antiviral CD8 T cell responses and homeostasis in nonlymphoid tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5566-5572
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002


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