We have characterized a child with a severe combined immunodeficiency disease syndrome with increased numbers, but a normal distribution, of CD3+ T cells. This patient's immunological defect appears to be attributable to a selective deficiency in T cell production of IL-2, which may reflect a subtle abnormality in the IL-2 gene locus or a defect in a regulatory factor necessary for IL-2 transcription. The increased numbers of phenotypically normal T cells in this patient suggest that alternative pathways of T cell development exist in man or that IL-2 production intra- and extrathymically is controlled via distinct regulatory mechanisms.

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