Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Dec;15(12):771-83. doi: 10.1038/nri3919. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

IL-15 functions as a danger signal to regulate tissue-resident T cells and tissue destruction.

Author information

Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery (KCBD), Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, and Immunology, University of Montreal, and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine Research Center, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1C5, Canada.


In this Opinion article, we discuss the function of tissues as a crucial checkpoint for the regulation of effector T cell responses, and the notion that interleukin-15 (IL-15) functions as a danger molecule that communicates to the immune system that the tissue is under attack and poises it to mediate tissue destruction. More specifically, we propose that expression of IL-15 in tissues promotes T helper 1 cell-mediated immunity and provides co-stimulatory signals to effector cytotoxic T cells to exert their effector functions and drive tissue destruction. Therefore, we think that IL-15 contributes to tissue protection by promoting the elimination of infected cells but that when its expression is chronically dysregulated, it can promote the development of complex T cell-mediated disorders associated with tissue destruction, such as coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center