Interleukin-2 directly induces activation and proliferation of chicken T cells in vivo

Louise S Hilton, Andrew G D Bean, Wayne G Kimpton, John W Lowenthal

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Cytokines, as immune activators, have been investigated in mammalian systems as natural adjuvants and therapeutics. In particular, interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been studied widely as a vaccine adjuvant and immuno-enhancer because of its role in activating T cell proliferation. We show here that the first nonmammalian IL-2 gene cloned, chicken IL-2 (ChIL-2), exhibits similar biologic activities to those of mammalian IL-2. To assess the activities of ChIL-2 in vivo, we injected birds with recombinant ChIL-2 (rChIL-2) protein. rChIL-2 treatment induced peripheral blood lymphocytes to express cell surface IL-2 receptors (IL-2R) within 48 h and resulted in an increase in the proportion of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation as a measurement of cell proliferation, we showed the increase in T cell populations to be due to cell proliferation. The ability of ChIL-2 to cause both activation and proliferation of T cells in vivo indicates that it has the potential to be used as an immune activator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755 - 763
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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