Role and regulation of interleukin (IL)-2 receptor alpha and beta chains in IL-2-driven B-cell growth

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Apr 15;89(8):3551-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.89.8.3551.


Substantial proportions of resting B cells constitutively express low levels of IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) alpha and/or beta chains. The expression of these chains is differentially regulated by anti-IgM and IL-2/IL-4. The anti-IgM induces IL-2R alpha chain expression, whereas each of the two cytokines induces IL-2R beta chain expression in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, IL-2 induces the growth of B cells, when the cells were pretreated with IL-2 or IL-4 for 24 h. The magnitude of this IL-2-driven B-cell growth depends upon the level of IL-2R beta chain expression. Costimulation of the B cells with IL-2 and anti-IgM shifts the dose-response curve, and the cells proliferate at an IL-2 concentration as low as 40 pM. These results indicate that the levels of anti-IgM-induced IL-2R alpha chain and IL-2-induced IL-2R beta chain determine the sensitivity of the cells to IL-2.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA Replication
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • DNA Probes
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Interleukin-2
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • RNA