This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Interleukin-2 is a polypeptide of approximately 15kD mass. It is secreted by T-lymphocytes: T helper CD4+ predominantly and T cytotoxic/supressor CD8+ to a lesser extent.

IL-2 acts in a short-lived and autocrine manner, binding to IL-2 receptors on the same cell. It stimulates T-lymphocyte activation and proliferation. This mechanism is vital in inflammatory responses and in cytotoxic T cell tumoricidal activity.

Other functions include:

  • increased proliferation of NK cells
  • increased proliferation of lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells
  • increased NK cell cytotoxicity
  • B-lymphocyte stimulation
  • increased immunoglobulin production
  • monocyte activation
  • pyretic
  • increased interferon production

Clinically, recombinant interleukin-2, aldesleukin, has been used against certain malignancies. It is licensed for use in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. It has been used experimentally against malignant melanoma.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page