Interleukin 2 (IL-2) is a pleiotropic (=having multiple effects from a single gene) cytokine produced primarily by mitogen- or antigen- activated T lymphocytes.
Interleukin 2 plays a role in promoting the clonal expansion of antigen-specific cytotoxic and suppressor T cells. In vitro studies suggest that Interleukin 2 may also be produced by dendritic cells and certain lymphoma cell lines. In addition, IInterleukin 2 has been shown to mediate multiple immune responses on a variety of cell types. Interleukin 2 stimulates the proliferation of thymocytes; stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of activated B cells; promotes the growth, differentiation, and cytocidal activity of monocytes; induces the growth of natural killer cells and stimulates cytokine production by these cells, as well as enhancing the cytolytic activity of these cells; enhances the production of lymphocyte-activated killer (LAK) cells; and induces the proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocytes.
Serum concentrations of Interleukin 2 are elevated in people with liver diseases and cirrhosis.
Renal failure is an important confounding factor for Interleukin 2 levels in liver disease patients. Interleukin 2 levels are associated with cytokine and chemokine concentrations as well as circulating inflammatory cells, especially from the monocyte lineage. These data indicate that Interleukin 2 might be a potential marker for immune cell activation in CLD, especially for proinflammatory and profibrogenic non-classical CD14+CD16+ monocytes.
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