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Gastroenterology. 2010 Jun;138(7):2378-87. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.02.044. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Interleukin-15 and its soluble receptor mediate the response to infliximab in patients with Crohn's disease.

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INSERM, U892, Equipe Cytokine/Récepteur, Nantes, France.



Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor that is used to treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease. We investigated serum levels and cellular expression of interleukin (IL)-15 and its receptor (sIL-15Ralpha) in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) treated with infliximab; and the effect on sIL-15Ralpha secretion by epithelial cells.


CD patients were given infliximab (n = 40; 3 infusions); 37 healthy controls were studied. Serum levels of IL-15, sIL-15Ralpha, and complex were determined by radioimmunoassay and cytokine levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IL-15Ralpha and A Desintegrin and Metalloproteinase 17 levels were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Epithelial cell lines (HT-29 and Caco-2) were cultured with infliximab, adalimumab, or etanercept. Patients were classified as responders and nonresponders according to their Crohn's Disease Activity Index and clinical observations.


Before infliximab, IL-15 was higher in responders than in controls and nonresponders. After infliximab, IL-15 decreased in responders while remaining stable in nonresponders. sIL-15Ralpha and IL-15/sIL-15Ralpha complex levels were higher in CD than in controls and increased only in responders after infliximab. IL-15Ralpha and A Desintegrin and Metalloproteinase 17 colocalized in epithelial cells and were higher in CD patients. In vitro, infliximab but not adalimumab and etanercept induced sIL-15Ralpha secretion by epithelial cells.


Serum level of sIL-15Ralpha and the IL-15/sIL-15Ralpha complex increased in responder patients and the response was associated with a decrease of IL-15. Infliximab induced the release of the IL-15 receptor alpha, suggesting a specific modulation of IL-15 and its soluble receptor by reverse signaling through transmembrane tumor necrosis factor alpha.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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