Interleukin-15 stimulates macrophages to activate CD4+ T cells

A role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?

René Rückert, Katja Brandt, Martin Ernst, Kathleen Marienfeld, Elena Csernok, Claudia Metzler, Vadim Budagian, Elena Bulanova, Ralf Paus, Silvia Bulfone-Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is overexpressed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a disease characterized by activation of monocytes/macrophages (MΦ), and by expansion of autoreactive CD4+ T cells. We hypothesized that IL-15 plays a major role for this expansion of CD4+ T cells and modulates the phenotype of monocytes/MΦ and their interaction with CD4+ T cells. Here, we show that IL-15 enhances the proliferation of CD4+ T cells from patients with RA in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cocultures. To further dissect the underlying mechanisms, we employed MΦ from IL-15-/- or IL-15 transgenic mice. These were induced to differentiate or were stimulated with IL-15. Here we show that addition of IL-15 during differentiation of MΦ (into 'IL-15MΦ') and overexpression of IL-15 by MΦ from IL-15tg mice leads to increased levels of major histocompatibility complex class II expression. This resulted in enhanced stimulation of antigen-specific CD4 + T cells in vitro and was accompanied by reduced messenger RNA expression in MΦ for immunosuppressive SOCS3. The proliferation rates of IL-15MΦ and IL-15tgMΦ were high, which was reflected by increased p27Kip1 and reduced p21Waf1 levels. In view of high serum and synovial levels of IL-15 in patients with RA, our data suggest the possibility that this excess IL-15 in RA may stimulate monocytes/MΦ to activate the characteristic autoreactive CD4+ T cells in RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalImmunology
Volume126
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Interleukin-15
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Macrophages
T-Lymphocytes
Monocytes
CD4 Antigens
Macrophage Activation
Immunosuppressive Agents
Coculture Techniques
Major Histocompatibility Complex
Transgenic Mice
Blood Cells
Cytokines
Phenotype

Keywords

  • Cytokines
  • Macrophages
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Rückert, R., Brandt, K., Ernst, M., Marienfeld, K., Csernok, E., Metzler, C., ... Bulfone-Paus, S. (2009). Interleukin-15 stimulates macrophages to activate CD4+ T cells: A role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis? Immunology, 126(1), 63-73. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.02878.x

Interleukin-15 stimulates macrophages to activate CD4+ T cells : A role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis? / Rückert, René; Brandt, Katja; Ernst, Martin; Marienfeld, Kathleen; Csernok, Elena; Metzler, Claudia; Budagian, Vadim; Bulanova, Elena; Paus, Ralf; Bulfone-Paus, Silvia.

In: Immunology, Vol. 126, No. 1, 01.01.2009, p. 63-73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rückert, R, Brandt, K, Ernst, M, Marienfeld, K, Csernok, E, Metzler, C, Budagian, V, Bulanova, E, Paus, R & Bulfone-Paus, S 2009, 'Interleukin-15 stimulates macrophages to activate CD4+ T cells: A role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?', Immunology, vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 63-73. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.02878.x
Rückert, René ; Brandt, Katja ; Ernst, Martin ; Marienfeld, Kathleen ; Csernok, Elena ; Metzler, Claudia ; Budagian, Vadim ; Bulanova, Elena ; Paus, Ralf ; Bulfone-Paus, Silvia. / Interleukin-15 stimulates macrophages to activate CD4+ T cells : A role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?. In: Immunology. 2009 ; Vol. 126, No. 1. pp. 63-73.
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