Interleukin-2 in the development and control of inflammatory disease


Abul K. Abbas
Department of Pathology
University of California San Francisco
M-590, 505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94143
Tel.: +1 415 514 0681
Fax: +1 415 502 4563


Summary: Interleukin-2 (IL-2) has multiple, sometimes opposing, functions during an inflammatory response. It is a potent inducer of T-cell proliferation and T-helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 effector T-cell differentiation and provides T cells with a long-lasting competitive advantage resulting in the optimal survival and function of memory cells. In a regulatory role, IL-2 is important for the development, survival, and function of regulatory T cells, it enhances Fas-mediated activation-induced cell death, and it inhibits the development of inflammatory Th17 cells. Thus, in its dual and contrasting functions, IL-2 contributes to both the induction and the termination of inflammatory immune responses.