Mechanisms of dichotomous action of IL-2-Pseudomonas exotoxin 40 (IL-2-PE40) on cell-mediated and humoral immune response

Hans Dieter Volk*, Sabine Müller, Shai Yarkoni, Tibor Diamantstein, Haya Lorberboum-Galski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


IL-2-PE40 is a chimeric protein composed of human IL-2 genetically fused to the amino terminus of a modified form of Pseudomonas exotoxin lacking its cell recognition domain. The immunosuppressive efficacy of IL-2-PE40 was demonstrated in several experimental murine transplant and autoimmune models. However, some observations suggested that IL-2-PE40 could not inhibit the humoral response. In this report, we describe the dichotomous effects of IL-2-PE40 on humoral and cell-mediated immune response in a simple, well characterized in vivo model. Although IL-2-PE40 inhibited the cell-mediated delayed type hypersensitivity reaction to SRBC, it increased the humoral immune response to the same Ag. To understand the mechanism of dichotomous action of IL-2-PE40 on the immune response, IL-2R-bearing T cells were treated with IL-2-PE40 in vitro and the cytokine expression was studied at mRNA and protein level. Similar to IL-2, IL-2-PE40 promoted the expression of T helper 1-like (IFN-γ) as well as T helper 2-like (IL-4, IL-10) cytokines. These in vitro studies show that IL-2-PE40 can induce signal transduction in activated T cells through the IL-2R before exerting its cytotoxic effect. In contrast to DTH reaction, humoral immune response requires T cell help only for a limited period. Therefore, the short-term stimulation of T helper cells by IL-2-PE40 may be sufficient in vivo to mediate a B cell response in the local environment, whereas the DTH reaction and other cell-mediated immune responses are inhibited by the toxin moiety of the chimeric protein.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2497-2505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Sep 1994


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