Interleukin 15 induces endothelial hyaluronan expression in vitro and promotes activated T cell extravasation through a CD44-dependent pathway in vivo

Pila Estess, Animesh Nandi, Mansour Mohamadzadeh, Mark H. Siegelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


T cell recruitment to extralymphoid tissues is fundamental to the initiation and perpetuation of the inflammatory state during immune and autoimmune responses. Interleukin (IL)-15 is a proinflammatory cytokine whose described functions largely overlap with those of IL-2. The latter is attributable in large part to its binding of the heterotrimeric receptor that contains the β and γ chains of the IL-2R in combination with an unique IL- 151α chain. However, unlike IL-2, IL-15 and its receptor have a wide tissue and cell type distribution, including endothelial cells. Here, we examine the effect of IL-15 on hyaluronan expression by endothelial cells, and investigate its role in vivo in promoting the extravasation of antigen- activated T cells through a CD44-dependent pathway. The expression of hyaluronan on primary endothelial cells and microvascular endothelial cell lines is induced by IL-15, whereas IL-2 has no such activity. Moreover, intraperitoneal administration of IL-15 or TNF-α in the absence of other exogenous proinflammatory stimuli allows the extravasation of superantigen- stimulated T cells into this site in vivo in a CD44-dependent manner. T cell recruitment induced by IL-15 requires expression of an intact 11. 2Rβ chain, indicating that IL-15 operates in this context through the traditional IL- 15R. The results suggest that IL-15 can regulate endothelial cell function and thereby enables a CD44-initiated adhesion pathway that facilitates entry of activated T lymphocytes into inflammatory sites. They further demonstrate a novel role for IL-15 (distinct from any of IL-2) in regulating microvascular endothelial cell adhesive function, help to understand the role of IL-15R expression on endothelium, and further support a central position for this cytokine in orchestrating multiple sequential aspects oft cell effect or function and therefore chronic inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 5 1999


  • CD44
  • Endothelial cell
  • Hyaluronate
  • Interleukin 15
  • Lymphocyte adhesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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