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11/11. Human immune disorder arising from mutation of the alpha chain of the interleukin-2 receptor.

    Profound cellular immunodeficiency occurs as the result of mutations in proteins involved in both the differentiation and function of mature lymphoid cells. We describe here a novel human immune aberration arising from a truncation mutation of the interleukin-2 receptor alpha chain (CD25), a subunit of the tripartite high-affinity receptor for interleukin 2. This immunodeficiency is characterized by decreased numbers of peripheral T cells displaying abnormal proliferation but normal B cell development. Extensive lymphocytic infiltration of tissues, including lung, liver, gut, and bone, is observed, accompanied by tissue atrophy and inflammation. Although mature T cells are present, the absence of CD25 does affect the differentiation of thymocytes. While displaying normal development of CD2, CD3, CD4, and CD8 expression, CD25-deficient cortical thymocytes do not express CD1, and furthermore they fail to normally down-regulate levels of the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2.
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