Immunity 2002 Aug;17(2):167
Malek T, Yu A, Vincek V, Scibelli P, Kong L.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, 33101, Miami, FL, USA
Lethal autoimmunity associated with IL-2Rbeta-deficient mice is prevented after thymic transgenic expression of wild-type IL-2Rbeta in IL-2Rbeta(-/-) mice (Tg -/- mice).
Here, we show that CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells were not readily detected in IL-2Rbeta(-/-) mice, but the production of functional CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells was reconstituted in Tg -/- mice.
Adoptive transfer of normal CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells into neonatal IL-2Rbeta-deficient mice prevented this lethal autoimmune syndrome.
The CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells in disease-free adult IL-2Rbeta-deficient recipient mice were present at a near normal frequency, were solely donor-derived, and depended on IL-2 for expansion.
These observations indicate that the essential function of the IL-2/IL-2R system primarily lies at the level of the production of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells.