IL-2 receptor gene expression and IL-2 production by human preterm newborn's cells

H. Bessler*, L. Sirota, I. Notti, T. Milo, M. Djaldetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) gene expression in human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC) of preterm and term newborns was examined following stimulation for 18 h with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and compared with that of adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC; mothers and control group). mRNA for IL-2R could not be detected in CBMC of preterm infants, whereas the mRNA levels for IL-2R found in full term neonates were similar to those observed in PBMC of adults. IL-2 activity in conditioned medium (CM) of mononuclear cells stimulated with either optimal or suboptimal PHA concentrations for 24 h and 48 h was also determined. At 24 h of stimulation, IL-2 activity found in CM obtained from CBMC of preterm and term newborns was significantly higher than that found in CM of adults' PBMC. A further enhancement of IL-2 activity (six to eight times) was observed in CM of preterm and term cells stimulated for 48 h, whereas no significant difference was found in IL-2 activity in CM from adult cells tested at the two incubation periods. The present findings may provide an additional explanation for the impaired function of the immune system, and the high susceptibility to infections observed in preterm newborns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-483
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • IL-2 receptors
  • cord blood mononuclear cells
  • newborns


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