Antibodies to highly purified mouse interleukin 2 (IL-2) were raised in rabbits; a 1:500 dilution of antiserum completely blocked the in vitro mitogenic effect of 10(-9) M IL-2. The antisera functioned effectively to immunoprecipitate biosynthetically labeled IL-2 and the purified immunoglobulins were useful in the construction of affinity columns for the adsorption and one-step immunopurification of IL-2. The antibodies were apparently specific for IL-2 among the lymphokines, they did not block the biological effects of IL-1, IL-3, gamma-IFN, B cell stimulating factor(s), and cytotoxic T cell differentiation factor(s). When anti-IL-2 was added to the in vitro reactions, it blocked mixed leukocyte reactions (MLR) and associated lymphocyte proliferation, the in vitro generation of cytotoxic T cells, and antibody formation as assessed by erythrocyte-specific plaque-forming cells (PFC). When injected into mice, anti-IL-2 antibodies also reduced the formation of cytotoxic lymphocytes in response to allogeneic cells, suggesting that endogenous IL-2 participates in such reactions in vivo. Taken together, the results indicate that these IL-2 antibodies will be useful adjuncts in the analysis of immune response both in vivo and in vitro.

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