Although IL-15 shares many of the biological activities of IL-2, IL-2 expression is primarily under transcriptional regulation, while the mechanisms involved in the regulation of IL-15 are complex and not completely understood. In the current study, we found that CD14+ monocytes constitutively exhibit both IL-15 mRNA and protein. IL-15 protein was found stored intracellularly and stimulation of CD14+ monocytes with either LPS or GM-CSF resulted in mobilization of IL-15 stores to the plasma membrane. This rapidly induced surface expression was the result of a translocation of preformed stores, confirming that posttranslational regulatory stages limit IL-15, because it was not accompanied by an increase in IL-15 mRNA and occurred independent of de novo protein synthesis. After fixation, activated monocytes, but not resting monocytes, were found to support T cell proliferation, and this effect was abrogated by the addition of an IL-15-neutralizing Ab. The presence of preformed IL-15 stores and the ability of stimulated monocytes to mobilize these stores to their surface in an active form is a novel mechanism of regulation for IL-15.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy