Effect of rIL-2 treatment on anti-tetanus toxoid response in the elderly

Umberto Fagiolo, Maria Cristina Bordin, Roberto Biselli, Raffaele D'Amelio, Rita Zamarchi, Alberto Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To explore the effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2) treatment in a vaccination protocol in the elderly, we administered low-dose rIL-2 to a group of aged subjects before primary tetanus toxoid immunization. A specific antibody response was detectable in the serum of 6/8 treated individuals after primary immunization, but in only 2/6 untreated controls; following antigenic boosting, specific antibody levels remained relatively unchanged in all the seroconverters. The data were confirmed by studying the ability to produce tetanus-specific antibodies in vitro, and by isoelectrofocusing analysis of serum anti-tetanus antibodies; this latter study showed a more restricted clonal response to the immunogen in untreated individuals. On the other hand, the study of the in vitro proliferative response to tetanus toxoid did not evidence clear differences between the two groups. On the whole, these data seem to indicate that a short-term rIL-2 treatment is able to potentiate the antibody response to tetanus toxoid, and may be a useful tool to improve humoral responses to vaccines in aged subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997


  • Aging
  • Antibodies
  • Immune response
  • Interleukin-2
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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