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Recombinant interleukin-2 directly augments the cytotoxicity of human monocytes.

Malkovský M, Loveland B, North M, Asherson GL, Gao L, Ward P, Fiers W

  • Journal Nature

  • Published 26 Feb 1987

  • Volume 325

  • ISSUE 6101

  • Pagination 262-5

  • DOI 10.1038/325262a0


Interleukin-2 (IL-2), originally described as a growth factor required for sustained proliferation of T cells in vitro is a glycoprotein hormone of known structure which appears to be important for the generation of immune responses in vivo. As well as T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and large granular lymphocytes with natural killer activity (NK cells) can also respond to IL-2. The action of IL-2 seemed to be limited specifically to lymphocytes, however, and the term 'T-lymphocytotrophic hormone' was used. Here we provide evidence that human monocytes display a substantially increased cytotoxic activity as a direct and rapid response to human recombinant IL-2 but not to human recombinant glycosylated interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) or lipopolysaccharide. Our results reveal a previously unknown function of IL-2 and suggest its possible involvement in monocyte-T cell interactions.