IL-2 Secretion by CD4+ T Cells In Vivo Is Rapid, Transient, and Influenced by TCR-Specific Competition

Dorothy K. Sojka, Denis Bruniquel, Ronald H. Schwartz, Nevil J. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations


The secretion of IL-2 is a critical and early landmark in the activation program of CD4+ T cells in vitro, but the lack of sensitive assays has limited its application for studying T cell activation in vivo. Using a mouse cytokine capture assay we were able to detect the rapid secretion of IL-2 after an in vivo stimulus by 1-2 h in naive T cells and as early as 30 min in memory T cells. Maximal secretion was achieved within 1-2 h for memory cells or 6-8 h for naive T cells. Surprisingly IL-2 production terminated quickly in vivo and secretion was undetectable by 20-24 h in either cell type. We further demonstrated that this short duration of secretion can be influenced by cellular competition between Ag-specific CD4+ T cells. The consequences of competition were mimicked by reducing the strength of the antigenic stimulus. These data argue that early competition between T cells influences both the eventual frequency of IL-2 producers in the population and also the duration of their secretion, potentially by altering the strength or duration of the stimulus available to each T cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6136-6143
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'IL-2 Secretion by CD4<sup>+</sup> T Cells In Vivo Is Rapid, Transient, and Influenced by TCR-Specific Competition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this