Interleukin-15 enhances CD4+ CD45RA+ expression on umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells

Syh Jae Lin*, Hsun Chin Chao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


The reduced incidence of graft-vs.-host disease following umbilical cord blood (CB) transplantation may be related to the functional immaturity of newborn T cells expressing mainly the naive CD45RA phenotype. Expansion of CD4+ CD45RA+ T cells using cytokines may benefit neonates and infants with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, as a preferential decline in CD4+ CD45RA+ cells has been noted as HIV disease progresses. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of interleukin (IL)-15, a novel cytokine similar to IL-2 in biological activities, on CD45RA/RO expression and apoptosis in umbilical cord blood (CB) and adult peripheral blood (APB) mononuclear cells (MNCs). Prior to culture, CB MNCs contained a greater number of CD4+ CD45RA+ cells and fewer CD4+ CD45RO+ cells than did APB MNCs. When incubated with RPMI-1640 containing 10% fetal calf serum for 7 days, the percentage of CD45RA+ cells within CD4+ T cells (%CD45RA+/CD4+) significantly decreased compared to that of fresh CB MNCs. IL-15 exerted a dose-dependent increase of %CD45RA+/CD4+ and a corresponding decrease of %CD45RO+/CD4+ in CB MNCs, an effect not observed with APB MNCs treated with IL-15. The percentages of CD45RA+ and CD45RO+ expression within CD8+ cells, however, were not influenced by IL-15, in either CB or APB MNCs. A greater number of CB MNCs underwent apoptosis than did APB MNCs after 7 days of culture in RPMI-1640 containing 10% fetal calf serum. IL-15 did not inhibit apoptosis but induced proliferation comparable to that achieved in APB MNCs. The ability of IL-15 to preferentially enhance the proliferation of CD4+ CD45RA+ cells in CB MNCs suggests a role for immunomodulative therapy in HIV-infected newborns and infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • CD45RA
  • CD45RO
  • Cord blood
  • Interleukin-15


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