Interleukin-15 augments superoxide production and microbicidal activity of human monocytes against Candida albicans

Nancy Vázquez, Thomas J. Walsh, Daphne Friedman, Stephen J. Chanock, Caron A. Lyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a newly described cytokine that shares biological activities with IL-2. We report here results demonstrating the ability of IL-15 to enhance superoxide production and antifungal activity of human monocytes. After 18 and 48 h of treatment with IL-15, human elutriated monocytes manifested enhanced superoxide production in response to either phorbol myristate acetate or opsonized Candida albicans blastoconidia. Similar results were obtained when monocytes were treated with IL-2, but to a lesser extent. Combination studies with IL-15 and IL-2 showed no additive or synergistic effects. Following incubation of monocytes with IL-15 for 18 h, there was no significant increase in mRNA transcripts for components of the NADPH oxidase complex, p40-phox, p47-phox, and gp91-phox, suggesting a posttranscriptional modulation of enhanced superoxide production. Antibodies against the γ chain of the IL-2 receptor and, to a lesser extent, against the β chain partially abrogated the IL-15-mediated enhanced superoxide production. Additionally, human monocytes showed enhanced killing activity against C. albicans after 18 h of incubation with IL-15 or IL-2, but this treatment did not enhance the ability of these cells to phagocytose the organism. In addition, the enhanced fungicidal activity seen after 18 h of treatment was no longer detectable after 48 h of cytokine treatment. Culture supernatants from the IL-15-treated monocytes were assayed for the presence of other proinflammatory cytokines. IL-15 treatment did not induce the release of detectable levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1β, or IL- 12. Our results indicate that IL-15 upregulates the microbicidal activity of human monocytes against C. albicans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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