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Fatal leukemia in interleukin 15 transgenic mice follows early expansions in natural killer and memory phenotype CD8+ T cells

, : Fatal leukemia in interleukin 15 transgenic mice follows early expansions in natural killer and memory phenotype CD8+ T cells. Journal of Experimental Medicine 193(2): 219-231

Inflammation likely has a role in the early genesis of certain malignancies. Interleukin (IL)-15, a proinflammatory cytokine and growth factor, is required for lymphocyte homeostasis. Intriguingly, the expression of IL-15 protein is tightly controlled by multiple posttranscriptional mechanisms. Here, we engineered a transgenic mouse to overexpress IL-15 by eliminating these posttranscriptional checkpoints. IL-15 transgenic mice have early expansions in natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T lymphocytes. Later, these mice develop fatal lymphocytic leukemia with a T-NK phenotype. These data provide novel evidence that leukemia, like certain other cancers, can arise as the result of chronic stimulation by a proinflammatory cytokine.


PMID: 11208862

DOI: 10.1084/jem.193.2.219

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