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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Involvement of IL-15 in the pathogenesis of human T lymphotropic virus type I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis: implications for therapy with a monoclonal antibody directed to the IL-2/15R beta receptor.

Human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is the causative agent of an inflammatory neurological disease termed HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/ TSP). An ongoing lymphocyte activation exists in patients with HAM/ TSP, which was demonstrated by the spontaneous proliferation of their PBMC ex vivo. It was shown that spontaneous proliferation present in HAM/ TSP is due, in part, to an IL-2/IL-2R autocrine loop. However, addition of Abs against IL-2 or IL-2R alpha only partially inhibited the spontaneous proliferation. Since IL-15 is a cytokine with similar functional characteristics to those of IL-2, we reasoned that IL-15 might be an additional growth factor that contributes to the spontaneous proliferation observed in HAM/ TSP. In this study, we demonstrated that IL-15 mRNA expression was elevated in PBMC obtained from HAM/ TSP patients when compared with those of the normal donors. Furthermore, we showed that the addition of blocking Abs against IL-15 or its receptor inhibited the spontaneous proliferation of HAM/ TSP PBMC. Addition of Abs directed toward both IL-15 and IL-2, or their receptors, inhibited the proliferation almost completely. These data suggest the existence of two autocrine loops involving IL-15/IL-15R and IL-2/IL-2R, both contributing to the spontaneous proliferation of HAM/ TSP PBMC.[1]


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