Interleukin 2 (IL-2) occupies a central position in the cascade of events involved in the immune response. We were interested in determining whether IL-2 could function as an adjuvant to vaccination, to increase the immune response to vaccine immunogens. Using the National Institutes of Health test for rabies vaccine potency, we found that daily systemic administration of IL-2 in conjunction with inactivated rabies virus can increase the potency of vaccination in outbred mice at least 25-fold, as measured by survival following challenge with virulent rabies virus. Enhanced protection is not correlated with an increase in virus-neutralizing antibody titers, and we suggest that IL-2 acts to increase the cellular immune response to vaccination.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1989