TCR-independent activation of extrathymically developed, self antigen- specific T cells by IL-2/IL-15

Hisakata Yamada, Takahiko Nakamura, Goro Matsuzaki, Yukihide Iwamoto, Kikuo Nomoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Naive intrathymically developed T cells, which express foreign Ag- specific TCR, do not express IL-2R. After antigenic stimulation, they express high affinity IL-2R, which enables IL-2 to be used as an autocrine growth factor. On the contrary, extrathymically developed T cells, which express self Ag-specific TCR but are unresponsive to antigenic stimulation, spontaneously express low affinity IL-2R. In this study, we compared the responses of these two subsets of T cells to IL-2R stimulation and examined the influences of TCR-mediated signaling on the responses. IL-2 or IL-15 augmented the proliferative response of Ag-stimulated, intrathymically developed T cells. On the other hand, extrathymically developed T cells proliferated in response to IL-2 or IL-15, independently of Ag stimulation. Furthermore, both IL-2 and IL-15 induced IFN-γ production of these T cells, which is strikingly augmented by the presence of IL-12. These results revealed functional differences between intrathymically developed, foreign Ag-specific T cells and extrathymically developed, self Ag-specific T cells. The latter can be activated by some inflammatory cytokines, in an Ag- independent manner, similar to NK cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1746-1752
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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