Interleukin 2 synthesis in the presence of steroids: a model of steroid resistance

Clin Exp Immunol. 1987 Apr;68(1):162-7.


In this study interleukin 2 (IL-2) synthesis by human lymphocytes in the presence and absence of prednisolone in a group of normal subjects has been assessed. An association between suppression in vitro of induced phytohaemagglutinin-blastogenesis by prednisolone and synthesis of IL-2 was found. Those subjects whose lymphocytes are identified as steroid-resistant have significantly higher IL-2 activity in the supernatants of both steroid and non-steroid treated lymphocyte cultures than steroid sensitive subjects. The addition of exogenous IL-2 was found to ablate the suppressive effects of steroids on lymphocyte blastogenesis. These results suggest that significantly greater activity of IL-2 in the culture supernatants of steroid resistant subjects may represent a mechanism for glucocorticoid resistance in vitro and help explain the relationship between increased loss of grafts and steroid resistance in renal allograft recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Prednisolone / pharmacology*


  • Interleukin-2
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Prednisolone