Memory phenotype CD8+ T cells in IL-15 transgenic mice are involved in early protection against a primary infection with Listeria monocytogenes

Toshiki Yajima, Hitoshi Nishimura, Ryotaro Ishimitsu, Kenichi Yamamura, Taketo Watase, Dirk H. Busch, Eric G. Pamer, Hiroyuki Kuwano, Yasunobu Yoshikai

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    43 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We recently constructed IL-15 transgenic (Tg) mice using cDNA encoding a secretable isoform of the IL-15 precursor protein under the control of an MHC class I promoter. The IL-15 Tg mice exhibited resistance against a primary infection with Listeria monocytogenes. The numbers of memory CD8+ T cells were markedly increased in the IL-15 Tg mice following Listeria infection accompanied by sustained IL-15 production. The increased CD44+CD8+ T cells in the infected IL-15 Tg mice were not specialized to recognize Listeria-specific antigen but produced a large amount of IFN-γ in response to bystander stimulation exogenous IL-15 in combination with IL-12. Furthermore, Listeria-specific Th1 response by CD4+ T cells was significantly augmented in the IL-15 Tg mice compared with control mice following Listeria infection. In vivo depletion of the CD8+ T cells by anti-CD8 monoclonal antibody and adoptive transfer of the T cells from naive IL-15 Tg mice indicated that the CD8+ T cells functioned not only to eliminate bacteria at the early stage of infection but also to promote Th1 response to L. monocytogenes. Overexpression of IL-15 shed light on a novel role of memory CD8+ T cells in early protection and promotion of Th1 response against a primary infection with L. monocytogenes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)757-766
    Number of pages10
    JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 5 2001

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

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