Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Accentuate the Positive

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Science's STKE  04 Apr 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 329, pp. tw117
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3292006tw117

The cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2) facilitates proliferation of naïve T cells, but several studies have shown that antibodies that bind IL-2, which at first glance should be inhibitory, can promote the expansion of subsets of memory CD8+ T cells. Thus, IL-2 might somehow be inhibiting suppressive T cell populations that would otherwise prevent memory CD8+ T cell expansion. Boyman et al. (see the Perspective by Prlic and Bevan) now show that, instead, binding of antibodies to IL-2 augments the direct activity of the cytokine on memory CD8+ T cells themselves. Immune complexes form that focus local levels of IL-2 through presentation by Fc receptors. These observations could be important to consider in therapies that involve the manipulation of IL-2 and other cytokines, such as bone marrow transplantation and tumor immunotherapy.

O. Boyman, M. Kovar, M. P. Rubinstein, C. D. Surh, J. Sprent, Selective stimulation of T cell subsets with antibody-cytokine immune complexes. Science 311, 1924-1927 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

M. Prlic, M. J. Bevan, An antibody paradox, resolved. Science 311, 1875-1876 (2006). [Summary] [Full Text]

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