Interleukin-2 production and interleukin-2 receptor expression in children with newly diagnosed diabetes

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1988 Oct;49(1):53-62. doi: 10.1016/0090-1229(88)90094-3.


In the present study, we investigated the interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and the proliferative responses by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) of 23 children suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). In addition, the presence of circulating activated T lymphocytes expressing the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2 R) and HLA-DR antigens was evaluated. The patients were tested at hospital admittance, before starting insulin treatment. Decreased IL-2 production by phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-activated PBMNC of IDDM patients was observed when compared to normal donors. In contrast, the proliferative responses of PBMNC to PHA and Con A were in the normal range. The expression of IL-2 R on patient's lymphocytes was not different from that observed in normal donors, whereas the relative and absolute number of HLA-DR+ T cells was increased. These results confirm the presence in IDDM patients of an imbalanced cellular immune response and demonstrate that the IL-2 deficiency is already present at the diagnosis and is not correlated with insulin administration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2


  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2