Fibroblast-like synoviocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients express functional IL-15 receptor complex: endogenous IL-15 in autocrine fashion enhances cell proliferation and expression of Bcl-x(L) and Bcl-2

Kurowska-Stolarska, M. , Rudnicka, W., Kontny, E., Janicka, I., Chorazy, M., Kowalczewski, J., Ziółkowska, M., Ferrari-Lacraz, S., Strom, T. B. and Maśliński, W. (2002) Fibroblast-like synoviocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients express functional IL-15 receptor complex: endogenous IL-15 in autocrine fashion enhances cell proliferation and expression of Bcl-x(L) and Bcl-2. Journal of Immunology, 169(4), pp. 1760-7. (doi:10.4049/​jimmunol.169.4.1760)

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Abstract

The hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are leukocytic infiltration of the synovium and expansiveness of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS). The abnormal proliferation of FLS and their resistance to apoptosis is mediated, at least in part, by present in RA joints proinflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Because IL-15 exerts properties of antiapoptotic and growth factors, and is produced by RA FLS, we hypothesized that IL-15 participates in RA FLS activation. To test this hypothesis, we first examined whether RA FLS express chains required for high affinity functional IL-15R. Indeed, RA FLS express IL-15Ralpha at mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, we confirmed the presence of IL-2Rbeta and common gamma-chains. Interestingly, TNF-alpha or IL-1beta triggered significant elevation of IL-15Ralpha chain at mRNA and protein levels. Next, we investigated the effects of exogenous or endogenous IL-15 on Bcl-2 and Bcl-x(L) expression, FLS proliferation, and apoptosis. Exogenous IL-15 enhanced RA FLS proliferation and increased the level of mRNA-encoding Bcl-x(L). To test the role of endogenous IL-15 in the activation of RA FLS, an IL-15 mutant/Fcgamma2a protein exerting properties of specific antagonist to the IL-15Ralpha chain was used. We found that blocking IL-15 biological activities using this protein substantially reduced endogenous expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-x(L), and RA FLS proliferation that was reflected by increased apoptosis. Thus, we have demonstrated that a distinctive phenotype of RA FLS, i.e., persistent activation, proliferation, and resistance to apoptosis, is related to the autocrine activation of IL-15Rs by FLS-derived IL-15.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kurowska-Stolarska, Dr Mariola
Authors: Kurowska-Stolarska, M., Rudnicka, W., Kontny, E., Janicka, I., Chorazy, M., Kowalczewski, J., Ziółkowska, M., Ferrari-Lacraz, S., Strom, T. B., and Maśliński, W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Immunology
ISSN:0022-1767
ISSN (Online):1550-6606

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