Interleukin 2-induced lymphocyte proliferation is independent of increases in cytosolic-free calcium concentrations

G. B. Mills, R. K. Cheung, S. Grinstein, E. W. Gelfand

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    Activation of lymphocytes by mitogenic lectins initiates a sequence of events that culminates in DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. The mitogenic effects of lectins on T lymphocytes leads to the production of a group of lymphokines including the interleukins. The binding of interleukin 2 (IL 2) to its receptor results in activation of the cell leading to DNA synthesis. An increase in cytosolic-free Ca++ ([Ca++](i)) is associated with activation of lymphocytes by mitogenic lectins and also appears to be a prerequisite for induction of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. We have dtermined whether the proliferative response triggered by IL 2 binding to its receptor is associated with or requires an increase in [Ca++](i). Using human and murine IL 2-sensitive cell lines, we have demonstrated that the IL 2-induced proliferative response, in contrast to that induced by mitogens such as phytohemagglutinin or concanavalin A, is not accompanied by an increase in [Ca++](i) as monitored by the fluorescent indicator quin-2. Furthermore, IL 2-dependent triggering of lymphoblasts occurs in the presence of extremely low extracellular calcium concentrations that prevent transmembrane calcium flux. Activation of IL 2 receptor-bearing T cells, therefore, does not appear to be associated with or to require an increase in [Ca++](i) as part of the activation and signaling process. The critical step requiring calcium flux in cell signaling by mitogenic lectins must therefore occur elsewhere in the activation cascade.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2431-2435
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

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