Does interleukin-2 abrogate peripheral immunologic self-tolerance in vivo?
J Allison, W Heath, JF Miller
Seminars in Immunology | Published : 1992
Transgenic mice that constitutively expressed murine IL-2 in islet beta cells (RIP-IL-2 mice) had pancreatitis from birth which resolved into a peri- and intra-islet infiltrate in adult animals. In spite of the impressive infiltration, these mice did not develop autoimmunity to islet antigens. Neither was autoimmunity found to extrathymic H-2Kb molecules known to induce tolerance by a peripheral mechanism, when IL-2 and H-2Kb were coexpressed in the beta cells. Apparently, IL-2 can only act on activated T cells and is unable to reverse tolerance in T cells that have been made unresponsive through inappropriate antigen presentation in our system.