Elevated serum levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptors in HTLV-I--associated myelopathy

J Lab Clin Med. 1989 Oct;114(4):407-10.


Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we measured the level of soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2Rs) in the serum of 50 normal controls, 48 human carriers of T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) antibody who had no symptoms, 11 patients with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy (HAM), and 39 patients with adult T cell leukemia (ATL) (four smoldering, 10 chronic, nine lymphoma, and 16 acute type). The highest levels of sIL-2R were observed in patients with acute and lymphoma-type ATL, as opposed to those with chronic and smoldering-type ATL. The levels of sIL-2R in patients with HAM were roughly between those of smoldering ATL and healthy HTLV-I carriers. Serum sIL-2R levels in healthy carriers were also elevated compared with those in normal controls. These observations suggest that the measurement of sIL-2R levels in patients with ATL can be useful as a noninvasive measure of tumor burden and should aid in the understanding of the natural history of HTLV-I infection leading to the development of ATL.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carrier State
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • HTLV-I Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Prolymphocytic, T-Cell / blood
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / blood
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / blood
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology*


  • Receptors, Interleukin-2