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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

1
Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery (KCBD), Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
2
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.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
26567920
PMCID:
PMC5079184
DOI:
10.1038/nri3919
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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