Several cytokines including stem cell factor (SCF) and interleukin (IL)-7 are known to be required for development of γδ T cell receptor (TCR) intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (i-IEL) in mice. We show here the effects of IL-15 on the proliferation and maintenance of murine γδ i-IEL in vitro. γδ i-IEL constitutively expressed a high level of Il-15 receptor cc mRNA and proliferated in response to IL-15 more vigorously than αβ i-IEL. Vγ/δ repertoire analysis revealed that IL-15, like IL-2, induced polyclonal expansion of γδ i-IEL, whereas γδ i-IEL responding to IL-7 showed a Vγ/δ repertoire skewed towards Vγ1/Vδ4, Vδ5. IL-15 efficiently prevented γδ i-IEL from apoptosis induced by growth factor deprivation. This rescue was accompanied by up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. These results suggest that IL-15 plays important roles in proliferation and maintenance of γδ i-IEL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy