IL-15 enhances survival and function of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells

Yvonne M. Mueller, Paul M. Bojczuk, E. Scott Halstead, Alfred H.J. Kim, James Witek, John D. Altman, Peter D. Katsikis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

HIV-specific CD8+ T cells are prone to undergo apoptosis, and this may affect their ability to control HIV infection. Because CD8-mediated immune responses play a key role in controlling HIV infection, enhancing the survival and effector function of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells may augment their ability to control HIV virus. We show here that interleukin 15 (IL-15) potently inhibits spontaneous and CD95/Fas-induced apoptosis of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells. IL-15 inhibits apoptosis in both CD45RA-CD62L- and CD45RA+CD62L- effector memory subpopulations of these cells. Furthermore, IL-15 greatly enhances the survival of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in long-term cultures. Finally, IL-15 directly enhances activation, interferon γ(IFNγ) production, and direct ex vivo cytotoxicity of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells. Thus, IL-15 potently enhances the survival and effector function of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells and, therefore, may prove useful in augmenting the antiviral function of these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1029
Number of pages6
JournalBlood
Volume101
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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