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Nat Immunol. 2001 Dec;2(12):1138-43.

Critical role of IL-15-IL-15R for antigen-presenting cell functions in the innate immune response.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


Activation of dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages by infectious agents leads to secretion of interleukin 12 (IL-12), which subsequently induces interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production by multiple cell types that include DCs and macrophages. In turn, IFN-gamma acts on macrophages to augment IL-12 secretion and to produce nitric oxide (NO), which eradicates infected microbes. We show here that in cytokine common gamma subunit-deficient and/or IL-2 receptor beta-deficient mice, production of IL-12, IFN-gamma and NO by DCs and macrophages was severely impaired, as was up-regulation of major histocompatibility complex class II and CD40. Similar phenotypes were observed in DCs and macrophages from IL-15-deficient mice but not in those from IL-2-deficient mice. This shows that the IL-15-IL-15R interaction is critical in early activation of antigen-presenting cells and plays an important role in the innate immune system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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