Interleukin 15: Its role in inflammation and immunity
Languages of publication
Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a 14-15 kDa polypeptide that belongs to the four alpha-helix bundle family of cytokines and was originally discovered due to its T cell proliferative activity. It utilizes the signal transducing b/g polypeptides of the IL-2 receptor complex thus sharing many biological activities with IL-2, in addition to its high affinity private receptor subunit IL-15Ra. Accumulating evidence indicates that the biological relevance of IL-15 may not solely be confined to T lymphocytes, but to a variety of cell populations within the immune system as well as outside the immune system of the host. The expression of both IL-15 and its high affinity receptor component, IL-15Ra are readily demonstrable in a wide variety of tissues and appear to be augmented in response to environmental/stress stimuli and infectious agents. There is increasing evidence to suggest that IL-15 may play an important role in protective immune responses, allograft rejection and the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases where mononuclear cell infiltration is a hallmark feature. Herein, the effects of IL-15 on cells associated with host defense, immunity and inflammation are reviewed and support a central role for this cytokine in orchestrating multiple aspects of effector functions in immunity and inflammation.
Publication order reference
L.P. Perera, Metabolism Branch, Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA