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

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


  • Lodolce JP
  • Boone DL
  • Chai S
  • Swain RE
  • Dassopoulos T
  • Trettin S
  • Ma A



Publication Data

November 31, 1998

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA-14599
  • Agency: NIDDK NIH HHS, Id: DK-42086
  • Agency: NIDDK NIH HHS, Id: DK52751

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