Signaling T-cell survival and death by IL-2 and IL-15

Elizabeth Zambricki, Alana Shigeoka, Hidehiro Kishimoto, Jon Sprent, Steven Burakoff, Charles Carpenter, Edgar Milford, Dianne McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Interleukin 2 (IL-2) and interleukin 15 (IL-15) bind to common T-cell surface receptors comprised of unique alpha (IL-2Rα or IL-15Rα) and shared β/γ chain subunits. Ligation of this receptor by IL-2 can lead to apoptosis whereas IL-15 ligation favors cell survival. Our study examined intra-cellular signaling events associated with IL-2- and IL-15-induced apoptosis and survival in human T cells. We found IL-2 and IL-15 could both induce apoptosis and survival; the outcome depended on cytokine concentration. No qualitative differences in Jak/Stat, Ras/MAPK or PI3K/AKT signaling were seen over a wide range of IL-2 and IL-15 concentrations. These findings suggest that, like T-cell receptor signaling, IL-2R β/γ chain signaling is regulated, or "tuned," by the concentration of cytokine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2623-2631
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine receptors
  • Cytokines
  • Signal transduction
  • T cells
  • Transplantation


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