Interleukin-2 transcripts in human and rodent brains: possible expression by astrocytes.


Cytokines have been suggested to be involved in the cross talk between the immune and the nervous systems, under normal and pathological conditions. For example, the cytokine interleukin-2 was suggested to be involved in response to CNS trauma and spontaneous regeneration. Here, we examined whether mammalian CNS has an intrinsic potential to produce interleukin-2 and, if so, what its cellular origin is. mRNA sequences encoding for interleukin-2 were detected in brains of humans and rodents. Northern blot analysis revealed the presence of several interleukin-2 transcripts of different sizes in the brain, all recognized by lymphocyte-derived interleukin-2 cDNA probes. One of the transcripts, a high molecular weight form of approximately 5 kb, appeared to be unique to the brain. Reverse transcription and amplification by PCR of human fetal brain mRNA revealed one cDNA product that, upon sequence analysis, showed a high degree of homology with the human lymphocyte-derived interleukin-2 coding sequence. To identify the possible cellular source of the interleukin-2 transcripts within the mammalian brain, we similarly analyzed mRNA of rat brain cells in culture. Northern blot analysis revealed that astrocytes contain transcripts that hybridize with interleukin-2 cDNA probe. These findings point to the astrocytes as a possible source of brain interleukin-2.


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@article{Eizenberg1995Interleukin2TI, title={Interleukin-2 transcripts in human and rodent brains: possible expression by astrocytes.}, author={O Eizenberg and A Faber-Elman and Meir Lotan and Michal Schwartz}, journal={Journal of neurochemistry}, year={1995}, volume={64 5}, pages={1928-36} }