Effects of depletion of cells bearing the interleukin-2 receptor on immunoglobulin production and allergic airway responses in the rat

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Apr;153(4 Pt 1):1214-21. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.153.4.8616544.


Lymphocytes, key cells in chronic inflammation, are increased in the airways of asthmatics and have increased expression of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor, a sign of activation. We determined the effects of depleting cells bearing IL-2 receptors on immunoglobulin (Ig) production, airway inflammation, and airway responses after antigen challenge of Brown Norway rats that were sensitized to ovalbumin (OA). Both control and ART-18 (antirat IL-2 receptor) antibodies inhibited plasma specific IgE and the early (ER) and late (LR) airway responses to antigen when given from zero to 14 d after sensitization. When ART-18 was administered from 4 to 14 d after sensitization and compared with control animals, it inhibited OA specific IgE production from Day 21 onward, but it increased total IgE and specific IgG. These changes followed a significant increase in blood CD4+ lymphocytes (%) in ART-18-treated animals 14 d after sensitization. The same protocol of administration did not affect Ig levels at 14 d, but it decreased neutrophil influx into the lungs 8 h after antigen challenge without any effects on the ER and LR. Administration of ART-18 at the time of antigen challenge did not affect the subsequent airway inflammation or the increased responsiveness to methacholine that occurs 32 h after antigen challenge. In summary, depletion of IL-2-receptor-bearing cells affects lymphocyte subsets and immunoglobulin production and it decreases the influx of neutrophils into the lungs 8 h after OA challenge, but it does not significantly inhibit the ER, LR, or increased airway responsiveness after antigen challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2* / physiology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2