Interleukin-15: a new cytokine target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2004 Aug;4(4):392-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2004.04.003.


Interleukin (IL)-15 is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine that is expressed in several inflammatory disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and pulmonary inflammatory diseases. IL-15 promotes activation of T cells, neutrophils and macrophages, and is critical to dendritic cell function in several model systems. Recent emerging data suggest that IL-15 may serve as a useful therapeutic target across a range of disease states. Advances in the past year highlight the beneficial effect of IL-15 neutralisation in models of psoriasis and diabetes. Further evidence for IL-15 expression and effector function has emerged across a range of rheumatic disorders, including juvenile inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Kawasaki disease. These data hold promise for therapeutic targeting in ongoing human studies and those in the near future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Graft Rejection
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Interleukin-15 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interleukin-15 / physiology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-15
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / physiology


  • IL15RA protein, human
  • Interleukin-15
  • Receptors, Interleukin-15
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2