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IL-15 receptor maintains lymphoid homeostasis by supporting lymphocyte homing and proliferation.

Immunity | Nov 31, 1998

The IL-15 receptor alpha subunit (IL-15Ralpha) mediates high-affinity binding of IL-15, a pleiotropic cytokine implicated in the development of innate immune cells. We have generated IL-15Ralpha null (IL-15Ralpha-/-) mice to understand the role of IL-15Ralpha in immune development and function. IL-15Ralpha-/- mice are markedly lymphopenic despite grossly normal T and B lymphocyte development. This lymphopenia is due to decreased proliferation and decreased homing of IL-15Ralpha-/- lymphocytes to peripheral lymph nodes. These mice are also deficient in natural killer cells, natural killer T cells, CD8+ T lymphocytes, and TCRgammadelta intraepithelial lymphocytes. In addition, memory phenotype CD8+ T cells are selectively reduced in number. Thus, IL-15Ralpha has pleiotropic roles in immune development and function, including the positive maintenance of lymphocyte homeostasis.

Pubmed ID: 9846488 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | B-Lymphocytes | CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes | Cell Movement | Homeostasis | Killer Cells, Natural | Lymph Nodes | Lymphocyte Activation | Mice | Receptors, Interleukin-15 | Receptors, Interleukin-2 | T-Lymphocytes