(Science: cytokine) a hormone-like substance released by stimulated t lymphocytes, causes activation and differentiation of other t lymphocytes independently of antigen.
a type of interleukin, a chemical messenger, a substance that can improve the body's response to disease. It stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system.
It is secreted by Thl cd4 cells to stimulate CD8 cytotoxic t-1yrnphocytes. Interleukin 2 also increases the proliferation and maturation of the cd4 cells themselves. During hiv infection, interleukin-2 production gradually declines.
use of interleukin 2 therapy is under study as a way to raise cd4 cell counts and restore immune function.