We previously reported that exogenous interleukin-15 (IL-15) induces proliferation and activation of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (i- IEL) in naive mice. To investigate the ability of endogenous IL-15 to stimulate i-IEL in vivo, we monitored i-IEL and intestinal epithelial cells (i-EC) in mice after an oral infection with Listeria monocytogenes. Although the populations of αβ and γδ i-IEL were not significantly changed after the oral infection, the expression level of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was increased both at transcriptional and protein levels, and a conversely marked decrease in interleukin-4 (IL-4) was detected in the i-IEL on day 1 after infection as compared with before infection. The T helper 1 (Th1)-biased response of i-IEL coincided with a peak response of IL-15 production in the i-EC after oral infection. These results suggested that IL-15 produced from i-EC may be at least partly involved in the stimulation of i-IEL to produce IFN-γ after oral infection with L. monocytogenes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy