B cell activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF) is a cytokine, indispensable for B cell survival, maturation, and activation. Over-expression of BAFF leads to lupus like disease in mice and the serum level of BAFF is elevated in human lupus. However, little is known about BAFF synthesis and its regulation. In this study, we examined the effects of a series of inflammatory cytokines on BAFF production in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro. We found interleukin-2 (IL-2) strongly and dose-dependently stimulated BAFF synthesis in PBMCs, and an anti-IL-2 antibody neutralized the effect. Furthermore, T and NK cells produced BAFF with IL-2 stimulation. From these observations, IL-2 is one of the regulatory cytokines having a positive effect on BAFF synthesis in human peripheral T and NK cells. Persistent over-production of IL-2 might lead to up-regulation of BAFF synthesis in PBMCs in pathological conditions such as lupus.
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