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Interleukins, also called cytokines are secretory proteins that bind to specific receptors and play a critical role in the intercellular communication between cells of the immune system. Cytokines are mainly produced by T lymphocytes, macrophages and eosinophils. Among its functions are the activation and suppression of immune system responses, induction of cell division and regulation of memory cells. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is a secretory monomeric glycoprotein composed of 149 amino acids containing a signal peptide of 20 amino acids. It is classified as a member of the type I cytokines family. IL-2 binds to its receptor (IL-2R receptor) with high affinity and its signaling function promotes the activation of various subtypes of lymphocytes during the process of cell differentiation to generate an immune or homeostatic response. The specificity of IL-2 depends on its binding to low, medium or high-affinity receptors. Interleukin 2 acts as a regulator of the proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. There is a relationship between IL-2 and autoimmune diseases due to its influence in the differentiation of T helper cells, which in turn directly influence immunological response processes. Therefore, IL-2 is a key element in the control and treatment of those diseases. In recent years, many therapeutic agents based on biomolecules and recombinant chimeric proteins have been developed to treat different autoimmune diseases. In this review, we focus on the use of interleukin 2 as a versatile therapeutic agent, alone or associated with other molecules to increase the efficiency of autoimmune disease treatment. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Alexy Orozco Valencia, Marcos Camargo Knirsch, Emer Suavinho Ferro, Marco Antonio Stephano. Interleukin-2 as immunotherapeutic in the autoimmune diseases. International immunopharmacology. 2020 Apr;81:106296

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PMID: 32058934

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