An essential role for the IL-2 receptor in T reg cell function

Takatoshi Chinen, Arun K. Kannan, Andrew G. Levine, Xiying Fan, Ulf Klein, Ye Zheng, Georg Gasteiger, Yongqiang Feng, Jason D. Fontenot, Alexander Y. Rudensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

557 Citations (Scopus)


Regulatory T cells (T reg cells), which have abundant expression of the interleukin 2 receptor (IL-2R), are reliant on IL-2 produced by activated T cells. This feature indicates a key role for a simple network based on the consumption of IL-2 by T reg cells in their suppressor function. However, congenital deficiency in IL-2R results in reduced expression of the T reg cell lineage-specification factor Foxp3, which has confounded experimental efforts to understand the role of IL-2R expression and signaling in the suppressor function of T reg cells. Using genetic gain- and loss-of-function approaches, we found that capture of IL-2 was dispensable for the control of CD4 + T cells but was important for limiting the activation of CD8 + T cells, and that IL-2R-dependent activation of the transcription factor STAT5 had an essential role in the suppressor function of T reg cells separable from signaling via the T cell antigen receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1322-1333
Number of pages12
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 19 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'An essential role for the IL-2 receptor in T reg cell function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this