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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 289343, 9 pages
Review Article

Type I Diabetes-Associated Tolerogenic Properties of Interleukin-2

1Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11 525, P.O. Box 59046, Saudi Arabia
2Immunology Division, Department of Paediatric, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
3Faculty of Medicine, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV 89014, USA
4Faculty of Medicine, St. George's University, Bay Shore, NY 11706, USA
5Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University of Shendi, Sudan

Received 15 January 2011; Accepted 8 March 2011

Academic Editor: V. Geenen

Copyright © 2011 Aziz Alami Chentoufi et al. 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.


Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) results from insulin-producing beta cells destruction by diabetogenic T lymphocytes in humans and nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. The breakdown of tolerance has been associated with a defect in the number and the function of naturally occurring regulatory T cells (nTreg) that are the master player in peripheral tolerance. Gene knockout experiments in mouse models have shown a nonredundant activity of IL-2 related to its critical role in inducing nTreg and controlling peripheral T cell tolerance. Whereas strong evidence has suggested that IL-2 is critically required for nTreg-mediated T1D control, several fundamental questions remain to be addressed. In this paper, we highlight the recent findings and controversies regarding the tolerogenic properties of IL-2 mediated through nTreg. We further discuss a potential link between the immunomodulatory role of interleukin-2 and the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.