Although some functional activities of interleukin (IL)-15 on NK and T cells overlap with those of IL-2, recent findings obtained from gene-targeted mice deficient in components of IL-2 / IL-15 system demonstrate distinct roles of IL-15 for the activation of innate immune system. IL-15 is a pivotal cytokine for the development and survival of NK cells, NKT cells, TCRγδ+ intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (iIEL), and for the functional maturation of dendritic cells and macrophages. IL-15 is also important for memory T cell maintenance in vivo. In this review, I summarize recent progress of studies in the IL-15 / IL-15R system.
Keywords: il-15, il-2, innate immunity, iel, il-15/il-15r
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