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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Interleukin 2 production by lymphoid cells from congenitally athymic (nu/nu) mice.

The ability of lymphoid cells from congenitally athymic (nu/nu) mice to produce interleukin 2 (IL 2) was investigated. Spleen or lymph node cells (superficial or mesenteric) from nude mice on an N:NIH(S)II or BALB/c genetic background were stimulated with concanavalin A ( Con A) or with irradiated allogeneic (DBA/2) spleen cells that had been depleted of T cells by treatment with monoclonal anti-Thy-1.2 antibody plus complement. After 24 hr, supernatants were harvested and assayed for their ability to support the proliferation of a cloned IL 2-dependent cytolytic T cell line. With this quantitative microassay, IL 2 production was not detectable in spleen and lymph nodes of 6-wk-old N:NIH(S)II nude mice; however, by 12 mo of age, IL 2 production increased more than 100-fold to reach levels comparable to control (nu/+) animals. Con A was more potent than alloantigen in the induction of IL 2 in either nude or control (nu/+) animals. Furthermore, differences in the genetic background of nude mice resulted in corresponding differences in both numbers of T cells (defined by monoclonal anti-Thy-1 antibody) and IL 2 production. By using negative selection with monoclonal antibodies plus complement, IL 2 production in aged nude mice was shown to depend upon a subpopulation of cells that expressed Thy-1 but not Lyt-2. These data thus demonstrate that a subpopulation of IL 2- producing cells with a Thy-1+ Lyt-2- surface phenotype can develop in the apparent absence of thymic influence.[1]


  1. Interleukin 2 production by lymphoid cells from congenitally athymic (nu/nu) mice. MacDonald, H.R., Lees, R.K., Glasebrook, A.L., Sordat, B. J. Immunol. (1982) [Pubmed]
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