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Interleukins (IL)-1 and IL-2 control IL-2 receptor alpha and beta expression in immature thymocytes.
European Journal of Immunology
Functional high-affinity interleukin-2 receptors (IL-2R) contain three transmembrane proteins, IL-2R alpha, beta and gamma. We have investigated the expression of IL-2R alpha and beta genes in immature mouse thymocytes. Previous work has shown that during differentiation these cells transiently express IL-2R alpha on their surface. Stimulation of IL-2R alpha+ and IL-2R alpha- immature thymocytes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and calcium ionophore induces synthesis of IL-2R alpha and IL-2R beta mRNA. Most of this response depends on autocrine stimulation by IL-2. IL-1 synergizes with IL-2 to induce a 120-fold increase in IL-2R alpha mRNA and a 14-fold increase in IL-2R beta mRNA levels. A large proportion of the stimulated cells contains both transcripts. These interleukins do not induce any differentiation to more mature phenotypes. Collectively, these results show that IL-2 plays a major role in the regulation of IL-2R expression in normal immature thymocyte. We suggest that this response to interleukins may be part of a homeostatic mechanism to increase the production of immature thymocytes during stress.
Animals, Cells, Cultured, Female, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Regulation, In Situ Hybridization, Interleukin-1/physiology, Interleukin-2/physiology, Ionomycin/pharmacology, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, RNA, Messenger/analysis, Receptors, Interleukin-2/biosynthesis, T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology, Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate/pharmacology, Thymus Gland/cytology, Thymus Gland/immunology
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