Interleukin-2 (IL-2) was originally described as a T cell growth factor produced by lymphocytes (Morgan et al. 1976). IL-2 was the first interleukin to be cloned in 1983 and rapidly produced by genetic engineering. Much work has been done on elucidating its structure, identifying its receptors, and studying its biology reviewed in Smith (1988). In the 1980s, IL-2 was established as an essential mediator of T cell-dependent effector immune responses. Remarkably, a radical shift in our understanding of IL-2 biology and use has recently occurred. From a cytokine that activates effector T cells and is used at high dose as a cancer immunotherapy, IL-2 is now recognized as a cytokine that activates Tregs to control autoimmunity and inflammation when used at low dose reviewed in Klatzmann and Abbas (2015). Here we describe mechanistic aspects of IL-2/IL-2R biology and the role of IL-2 in health,...
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