Cutting edge: A T-bet-independent role for IFN-α/β in regulating IL-2 secretion in human CD4+ central memory T cells

Ann M. Davis, Hilario J. Ramos, Laurie S. Davis, J. David Farrar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


IL-2 is a hallmark cytokine secreted by central memory CD4+ T cells (TCM). Although naive cells rapidly secrete IL-2 in response to Ag stimulation, IL-12 inhibits IL-2 secretion in daughter cells as they differentiate into Th1 cells. In this study, we uncover a unique role for IFN-α in regulating IL-2 secretion by human TCM cells. IFN-α synergized with IL-12 to enhance a subset of cells that secreted high and sustained levels of IL-2. These IL-2-secreting cells displayed phenotypic and functional characteristics of TCM and were capable of generating IFN-γ-secreting effectors upon secondary activation. Tbet has been implicated in negatively regulating IL-2 secretion in murine T cells; however, T-bet expression did not inhibit IFN-α-dependent IL-2 secretion in human TCM cells. Thus, our results highlight a unique role for IFN-α in regulating the development of IL-2-secreting human TCM cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8204-8208
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)

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