Experiments in IL-15-/- and IL-15Rα-/- mice show that intra-renal IL-15, through IL-15Rα behaves as an epithelial survival factor. Recent data highlight new functions of IL-15 in renal homeostasis mediated by IL-15Rγ (CD132). Indeed, in CD132+ renal epithelial tubular cells IL-15 preserves E-cadherin expression inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). By contrast, during allograft rejection, the increased intra-graft IL-15 expression favors tubular destruction facilitating the intraepithelial recruitment of CD8 T cells expressing the E-cadherin ligand CD103. In renal cancer, loss of CD132 by epithelial cells defines a tumoral microenvironment where IL-15 triggers E-cadherin down-regulation and EMT. Finally, in CD132+ renal cancer stem cells IL-15 induces the generation of non-tumorigenic epithelial cells sensitive to cytotoxic drugs. These findings are discussed in the light of IL-15-based immunotherapy for renal cancer.
- Renal cancer
- Renal cancer stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Immunology and Allergy
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)