IL-15 and PIM kinases direct the metabolic programming of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes

Olivia J. James, Maud Vandereyken, Julia M. Marchingo, Francois Singh, Susan E. Bray, Jamie Wilson, Andrew G. Love, Mahima Swamy (Lead / Corresponding author)

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5 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) are an abundant population of tissue-resident T cells that protect and maintain the intestinal barrier. IEL respond to epithelial cell-derived IL-15, which is complexed to the IL-15 receptor α chain (IL-15/Rα). IL-15 is essential both for maintaining IEL homeostasis and inducing IEL responses to epithelial stress, which has been associated with Coeliac disease. Here, we apply quantitative mass spectrometry to IL-15/Rα-stimulated IEL to investigate how IL-15 directly regulates inflammatory functions of IEL. IL-15/Rα drives IEL activation through cell cycle regulation, upregulation of metabolic machinery and expression of a select repertoire of cell surface receptors. IL-15/Rα selectively upregulates the Ser/Thr kinases PIM1 and PIM2, which are essential for IEL to proliferate, grow and upregulate granzyme B in response to inflammatory IL-15. Notably, IEL from patients with Coeliac disease have high PIM expression. Together, these data indicate PIM kinases as important effectors of IEL responses to inflammatory IL-15.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4290
Number of pages16
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


  • T cells
  • Interleukins
  • Mucosal immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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