A novel role of IL-15 in early activation of memory CD8+ CTL after reinfection

Toshiki Yajima, Hitoshi Nishimura, Subash Sad, Hao Shen, Hiroyuki Kuwano, Yasunobu Yoshikai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    A rapid induction of effector functions in memory T cells provides rapid and intensified protection against reinfection. To determine potential roles of IL-15 in early expansion and activation of memory CD8+ T cells in secondary immune response, we examined the cell division and cytotoxicity of memory CD8+ T cells expressing OVA257-264/K b-specific TCR that were transferred into IL-15-transgenic (Tg) mice, IL-15 knockout (KO) mice, or control C57BL/6 mice followed by challenge with recombinant Listeria monocytogenes expressing OVA (rLM-OVA). In vivo CTL activities and expression of granzyme B of the transferred CD8+ T cells were significantly higher in the IL-15 Tg mice but lower in the IL-15 KO mice than those in control mice at the early stage after challenge with rLM-OVA. In contrast, there was no difference in the cell division in IL-15 Tg mice and IL-15 KO mice compared with those in control mice. In vivo administration of rIL-15 conferred robust protection against reinfection via induction of granzyme B in the memory CD8+ T cells. These results suggest that IL-15 plays an important role in early activation of memory CD8+ T cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3590-3597
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2005

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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