B Cell-Derived IL-15 Enhances CD8 T Cell Cytotoxicity and is Increased in MS
November 7, 2011
Researchers at the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, Hopital Notre-Dame in Montreal investigated the involvement of interleukin-15, a cytokine, on CD8 T cells or 'killer T cells' as it relates to the mechanism of MS. [Raphael Schneider, Alma Nazlie Mohebiany, Igal Ifergan, Diane Beauseigle, Pierre Duquette, Alexandre Prat, and Nathalie Arbour. The Journal of Immunology, 2011, 187: 000–000.]
IL-15 is a type of protein secreted by white blood cells following an infection. Its function is to regulate T and natural killer cell activation and reproduction. The sources and involvement of cytokines such as interleukin-15 (IL-15) in activating the CD8 T cells (killer T cells) in MS is still unresolved.
To investigate the role of IL-15 in enhancing the activation of killer T cells in the context of MS, a research team from the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal lead by Drs. Raphael Schneider and Nathalie Arbour, analyzed the presence of IL-15 in the blood of people with MS and the impact IL-15 had on killer T cell function and migration. Analysis showed a significantly greater proportion of B cells and monocytes (white blood cells) from people with MS expressing IL-15 relative to the non-MS control group. The research team established that activation of B cells from the non-MS study group increased their IL-15 levels, reaching those of people with MS.
Drs. Schneider and Arbour also demonstrated an enhanced ability of killer T cells to cause toxic effects or death to cells in the central nervous system of people with MS upon stimulation with IL-15. They also found that exposure of killer T cells to IL-15 enhanced their ability to kill glial cells (cells found in the central nervous system) as well as migrate across the blood–brain barrier. These findings suggest a potential avenue of therapeutic strategies aimed to reduce sources of IL-15 in MS.
National Research and Programs
Disponible en français.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is an independent, voluntary health
agency and does not approve, endorse or recommend any specific product or therapy,
but provides information to assist individuals in making their own decisions.
Back to top