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Developmental Immunology
Volume 6 (1998), Issue 1-2, Pages 141-147

The IL-2/IL-2-Receptor Complex in the Maturation of Rat T-Cell Progenitors

Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid 28040, Spain

Received 20 May 1997; Accepted 30 May 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


On the basis of both the interleukin-2-receptor (IL-2R) α-chain expression on 16-day-old fetal rat thymocytes and the occurrence of interleukin-2 (IL-2) mRNA-containing cells early during rat thymus ontogeny, we have investigated the possible role of IL-2/IL-2R complex in rat T-cell maturation. For this purpose, we analyzed the effects of the addition of either recombinant rat IL- 2 or anti-CD25 (OX-39)-blocking monoclonal antibodies to fetal thymus organ cultures (FTOC), established from 16-day-old rat embryos. IL-2 stimulated the growth of thymocytes and, as a result, induced T-cell differentiation, whereas OX-39 mAb blocked the maturation of thymic-cell progenitors. Accordingly, these results support the involvement of IL-2/IL-2R complex in rat Tcell development.