The interleukin-2 receptor gamma (IL-2R gamma) chain is a newly recognized component of the IL-2R of lymphoid cells that is required for their response to IL-2. We investigated the expression of IL-2R gamma protein in human monocytes by Western blot analysis using an antiserum specific for IL-2R gamma. We found that IL-2R gamma subunit is constitutively expressed in human monocytes and upregulated by the monocyte-activating factors IL-2 and interferon gamma (IFN gamma). Furthermore, we show that transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF beta 1) downmodulates, in a dose-dependent manner, basal and IL-2-induced, but not IFN gamma-induced, IL-2R gamma chain expression, and this effect may be responsible for TGF beta 1 suppressive activity on IL-2- activated monocytes. Overall, these results show that the expression of the IL-2R gamma subunit in human monocytes is tightly regulated by the cytokine network, suggesting a critical role played by this protein on monocyte activation.

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