Back to Pathways
Interactive Pathways & Processes
Show Categories

IL-2 Signaling Pathways and their Primary Biological Effects in Different Immune Cell Types

Click on one of the links shown in the Explore Pathways box below to see either either the IL-2 signaling pathways or information related to one of the other common cytokine receptor gamma-chain family members.

Click on one of the buttons below to highlight that portion of the pathway.
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
Regulates Activated
T Cell Proliferation
Regulates Activated
T Cell Proliferation
ProductsClose
Activated T Cell
Activated T Cell
ProductsClose

Proliferation/Survival

Proliferation/Survival

ProductsClose
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
Fas L or TNF-alpha
Fas L or TNF-alpha
Fas, TNF RI,
or TNF RII
Fas, TNF RI,
or TNF RII
Promotes Activation-Induced
Cell Death
Promotes Activation-Induced
Cell Death
ProductsClose
Proliferating/Activated
CD4+ T Cells
Proliferating/Activated
CD4+ T Cells
ProductsClose
Antigen
Antigen
ProductsClose

Activation-Induced Cell Death

Activation-Induced Cell Death

ProductsClose

Maintenance of Peripheral
Self-Tolerance

Maintenance of Peripheral
Self-Tolerance

ProductsClose
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
TGF-beta
TGF-beta
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
ProductsClose
FoxP3
FoxP3
ProductsClose
TGF-beta
TGF-beta
IL-10
IL-10
ProductsClose
IL-35
IL-35
Promotes Regulatory T Cell
Development, Survival, &
Maintenance
Promotes Regulatory T Cell
Development, Survival, &
Maintenance
ProductsClose
Dendritic Cell
Dendritic Cell
ProductsClose
Naive T Cell
Naive T Cell
ProductsClose

Regulatory T Cell
Development

Regulatory T Cell
Development

ProductsClose
Regulatory T Cells
Regulatory T Cells
ProductsClose

Maintenance

Maintenance

ProductsClose
Effector T Cells
Effector T Cells
ProductsClose

Effects on Regulatory T Cells

Effects on Regulatory T Cells

ProductsClose
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
Inhibits Division of CD8+
Memory T Cells
Inhibits Division of CD8+
Memory T Cells
ProductsClose
Activated
CD8+ T Cell
Activated
CD8+ T Cell
ProductsClose

Division

Division

ProductsClose
Regulatory T Cell
Regulatory T Cell
ProductsClose
Memory
CD8+ T Cell
Memory
CD8+ T Cell
ProductsClose

Inhibits Division

Inhibits Division

ProductsClose
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
Promotes B Cell
Proliferation
Promotes B Cell
Proliferation
ProductsClose
B Cell
B Cell
ProductsClose

Proliferation

Proliferation

ProductsClose
IL-2
IL-2
ProductsClose
IL-2 R
IL-2 R
Promotes Immunoglobulin
Production
Promotes Immunoglobulin
Production
ProductsClose
Activated
B Cell
Activated
B Cell
ProductsClose
Plasma Cell
Plasma Cell
ProductsClose

Immunoglobulin Production

Immunoglobulin Production

ProductsClose
IL-2 Signaling Pathways and their Primary Biological Effects in Different Immune Cell Types

Overview of Primary Biological Effects of IL-2 Signaling in Different Immune Cell Types

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is an O-glycosylated four alpha-helix bundle cytokine that is primarily produced by activated T cells, dendritic cells, and B cells. The biological activity of IL-2 is mediated by binding to a cell surface receptor complex consisting of IL-2 R alpha/CD25, IL-2/IL-15 R beta, and the common gamma-chain/IL-2 R gamma subunit. IL-2 can also bind with low affinity to IL-2 R alpha alone, or with intermediate affinity to a complex consisting of IL-2/IL-15 R beta and the common gamma-chain subunit. Functionally, IL-2 induces the expression of both IL-2 and IL-2 R alpha on activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and stimulates their proliferation. In contrast, IL-2 also plays an important role in the maintenance of peripheral self-tolerance both by initiating Fas-mediated activation-induced cell death of CD4+ T cells following antigen restimulation and by its ability to promote the differentiation and survival of regulatory T cells. Rather than displaying a severe immunodeficient phenotype, mice lacking IL-2, IL-2 R alpha, or IL-2 R beta accumulate activated T lymphocytes, have reduced numbers of regulatory T cells, and develop autoimmune diseases. This suggests that the maintenance of T cell homeostasis and prevention of self-reactivity is the primary function of IL-2 signaling. In addition, IL-2 may enhance the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells and may be required for B cell proliferation and immunoglobulin production.

To learn more, please visit our Common gamma Chain Receptor Family Research Area.

IL-2 Signaling Pathways and their Primary Biological Effects in Different Immune Cell Types background image 1