Author(s): Schluns KS, Williams K, Ma A, Zheng XX, Lefranois L
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Abstract IL-15 and IL-15Ralpha are required for generation of memory-phenotype CD8 T cells in unimmunized mice. However, the role of IL-15 in primary expansion and generation of Ag-specific memory CD8 T cells in vivo has not been investigated. We characterized the CD8 T cell response against vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in IL-15(-/-) and IL-15Ralpha(-/-) mice. Surprisingly, IL-15 was required for primary expansion of VSV-specific CD8 T cells. The generation of VSV-specific memory CD8 T cells was also impaired without IL-15 signaling, and this defect correlated with a decrease in memory CD8 T cell turnover. Despite minimal proliferation without IL-15, a subset of memory cells survived long-term. IL-15Ralpha expression was low on naive CD8 T cells, up-regulated on Ag-specific effector cells, and sustained on memory cells. Thus, IL-15 was important for the generation and the subsequent maintenance of antiviral memory CD8 T cells.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering