IL-2 is a pleiotropic cytokine that promotes the differentiation of Th cell subsets, including Th1, Th2, and Th9 cells, but it impairs the development of Th17 and T follicular helper cells. Although IL-2 is produced by all polarized Th subsets to some level, how it impacts cytokine production when effector T cells are restimulated is unknown. We show in this article that Golgi transport inhibitors (GTIs) blocked IL-9 production. Mechanistically, GTIs blocked secretion of IL-2 that normally feeds back in a paracrine manner to promote STAT5 activation and IL-9 production. IL-2 feedback had no effect on Th1- or Th17-signature cytokine production, but it promoted Th2- and Th9-associated cytokine expression. These data suggest that the use of GTIs results in an underestimation of the presence of type 2 cytokine-secreting cells and highlight IL-2 as a critical component in optimal cytokine production by Th2 and Th9 cells in vitro and in vivo.
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