IL-2 is crucial to T cell homeostasis, especially of CD4(+) T regulatory cells and memory CD8(+) cells, as evidenced by vigorous proliferation of these cells in vivo following injections of superagonist IL-2/anti-IL-2 antibody complexes. The mechanism of IL-2/anti-IL-2 antibody complexes is unknown owing to a lack of understanding of IL-2 homeostasis. We show that IL-2 receptor alpha (CD25) plays a crucial role in IL-2 homeostasis. Thus, prolongation of IL-2 half-life and blocking of CD25 using antibodies or CD25-deficient mice led in combination, but not alone, to vigorous IL-2-mediated T cell proliferation, similar to IL-2/anti-IL-2 antibody complexes. These data suggest an unpredicted role for CD25 in IL-2 homeostasis.