Interleukin-2-Deficient mice: effect on cytokines and inflammatory cells in chronic colonic disease

Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Mar;47(3):503-10. doi: 10.1023/a:1017995414697.


Mice deficient in interleukin-2 (IL-2-/-) develop inflammatory bowel disease resembling human ulcerative colitis. After death, macroscopic and microscopic scores were used to determine colonic inflammation. Both scores were significantly increased in the colon of IL-2-/- mice as compared to wild types mice. The level of IL-1beta 24-week-old was increased in IL-2-/- mice produced by the colon as compared with IL-2+/+ controls. However, the concentrations of IL-6 and IL-10 were not changed. The spleen weight of IL-2-/- mice was significantly increased compared with IL-2+/+ controls. We used immunochemical techniques in low-temperature paraffin-embedded spleen of IL-2-/- mice to examine pathological changes of CD4+ T cells, CD8' T cells, and CD11b+ cells. The tissue was successfully stained and was well preserved. The percentage CD4+ T cells was not significantly changed, while the percentage CD8+ T cells was significantly decreased in IL-2-/- mice compared with IL-2+/+ controls. On the other hand, the percentage CD11b+ cells was significantly increased in the spleen of IL-2-/- mice compared with IL-2+/- controls. As well as the marked difference in CD8+ and CD11b+ cells in the spleen, the increased level of IL-1beta in colonic tissue might indicate that cytotoxic T cells as well as macrophages are involved in the development and/or perpetuation of the inflammatory reactions in IL-2-/- mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colon / chemistry*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 / deficiency*
  • Interleukin-2 / physiology
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Organ Size
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Spleen / chemistry
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / pathology


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-6
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Proteins
  • Interleukin-10