Low-Dose IL-2 Therapy in Transplantation, Autoimmunity, and Inflammatory Diseases

Date Published:

2019 Dec 01


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a central role in the induction and maintenance of immune homeostasis and self-tolerance. Tregs constantly express the high-affinity receptor to IL-2. IL-2 is a pleiotropic cytokine and a key survival factor for Tregs. It maintains Tregs' suppressive function by promoting Foxp3 expression and subsequent production of immunoregulatory cytokines. Administration of low-dose IL-2 is shown to be a promising approach to prevent allograft rejection and to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions in experimental models. The combination of IL-2 with its mAb (JES6-1) has also been shown to increase the of IL-2 and further enhance Treg frequencies and function. Low-dose IL-2 therapy has been used in several clinical trials to treat conditions such as hepatitis C vasculitis, graft-versus-host disease, type 1 diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. In this paper, we summarize our findings on low-dose IL-2 treatment in corneal allografting and review recent studies focusing on the use of low-dose IL-2 in transplantation, autoimmunity, and other inflammatory conditions. We also discuss potential areas of further investigation with the aim to optimize current low-dose IL-2 regimens.

Last updated on 01/01/2020