Signalling mechanisms driving homeostatic and inflammatory effects of interleukin-15 on tissue lymphocytes

Neema Skariah, Olivia J. James, Mahima Swamy (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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There is an intriguing dichotomy in the function of cytokine interleukin-15-at low levels, it is required for the homeostasis of the immune system, yet when it is upregulated in response to pathogenic infections or in autoimmunity, IL-15 drives inflammation. IL-15 associates with the IL-15Rα within both myeloid and non-haematopoietic cells, where IL-15Rα trans-presents IL-15 in a membrane-bound form to neighboring cells. Alongside homeostatic maintenance of select lymphocyte populations such as NK cells and tissue-resident T cells, when upregulated, IL-15 also promotes inflammatory outcomes by driving effector function and cytotoxicity in NK cells and T cells. As chronic over-expression of IL-15 can lead to autoimmunity, IL-15 expression is tightly regulated. Thus, blocking dysregulated IL-15 and its downstream signalling pathways are avenues for immunotherapy. In this review we discuss the molecular pathways involved in IL-15 signalling and how these pathways contribute to both homeostatic and inflammatory functions in IL-15-dependent mature lymphoid populations, focusing on innate, and innate-like lymphocytes in tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberkyae002
Number of pages13
JournalDiscovery Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024


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