The effect of age on the expression of interleukin-2

Mohammad A. Pahlavani, Arlan Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a growth promoting cytokine that has received a great deal of attention over the past decade with respect to aging and cancer. It is produced primarily by helper T cells and regulates the growth and function of various cells that are involved in cellular and humoral immunity. The expression of IL-2 has been found to decrease with age in humans and rodents. The decline in IL-2 production has been shown to parallel the age-related decrease in immunologic function. Several studies indicate that treatment of lymphocytes from old subjects with exogenous IL-2 or infusion of IL-2 into old animals partially or completely restores some of the immune functions that decline with age. The age-related decline in IL-2 production has been shown to arise from a decline in IL-2 transcription, and a recent study suggests that the transcription factor NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) may play a role in the decline in IL-2 transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-154
Number of pages30
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 29 1996


  • Aging
  • Immune system
  • Interleukin-2
  • Transcription
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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