At least two types of interleukin (IL)-I 5 mRNA isoforms are generated by alternative splicing at the 5' upstream of exon 5 in mice. To elucidate the potential roles of IL-15 isoforms in immune responses in vivo, we constructed two groups of transgenic mice rising originally described IL-15 cDNA with a normal exon 5 (normal IL-15 transgenic [Tg] mice) and IL-15 cDNA with an alternative exon 5 (alternative IL-15 Tg mice) under the control of an MHC class I promoter. Normal IL-15 Tg mice constitutionally produced a significant level of IL-15 protein and had markedly increased numbers of memory type (CD44(high) Ly6C+) of CD8+ T cells in the LN. These mice showed resistance to Salmonella infection accompanied by the enhanced interferon (IFN)-γ production, but depletion of CD8+T cells exaggerated the bacterial growth, suggesting that the IL-15-dependent CD8+ T cells with a memory phenotype may serve to protect against Salmonella infection in normal IL-15 Tg mice. On the other hand, a large amount of intracellular IL-15 protein was detected but hardly secreted extracellularly in alternative IL-15 Tg mice. Although most of the T cells developed normally in the alternative IL-15 Tg mice, they showed impaired IFN-γ production upon TCR engagement. The alternative IL-15 transgenic mice were susceptible to Salmonella accompanied by impaired production of endogenous IL-15 and IFN-γ. Thus, two groups of IL-15 Tg mice may provide information concerning the different roles of IL-15 isoforms in the immune system in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy