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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy