IL-15/IL-15 receptor biology: a guided tour through an expanding universe

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2006 Aug;17(4):259-80. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2006.05.001. Epub 2006 Jun 30.


The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) has a key role in promoting survival, proliferation and activation of natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T cells. Despite its functional similarities to IL-2, IL-15 affects a wider range of target cell populations and utilizes different mechanisms of signaling. Here, we review recent advances in the IL-15-mediated signaling, and in the functional properties on cells besides T lymphocytes and NK cells. These are discussed in the context of their potential clinical and therapeutic relevance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-15 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-15 / genetics
  • Interleukin-15 / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-15
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


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