Interleukin-2 in bone marrow transplantation: preclinical studies

Bone Marrow Transplant. 1992 Aug;10(2):103-11.


Interleukin-2 (IL-2) promotes the generation and proliferation of killer cells in the peripheral blood and bone marrow (BM) both in vitro and in vivo. When employed in a syngeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) setting and followed by IL-2 therapy, murine BM cells activated with IL-2 in vitro (ABM) demonstrate potent graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) and anticytomegalovirus effects. ABM cells retain the capacity to reconstitute the hemopoietic system both in normal and leukemic mice. This therapy does not cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Human ABM cells carry out purging of leukemia without loss of progenitor cell activity in vitro. The purging ability of ABM can be augmented by interleukin-1, interferon, and tumor necrosis factor. IL-2 therapy stimulates the veto suppressor cell activity of T cell-depleted BM, and has reduced GVHD and permitted engraftment of mismatched allogeneic BM in murine models. Future studies should determine the optimum treatment schedules with IL-2 for improving the GVL effect in autologous BMT, and for abolishing GVHD in allogeneic BMT settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Purging*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytokines / pharmacology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / therapy*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Forecasting
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / immunology*
  • Leukemia, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Experimental / therapy*
  • Mice


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-2