One severe complication of celiac disease is enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma, a high-grade invasive lymphoma with a very poor prognosis. Previous research has suggested that chronic exposure of immune cells in the walls of the small intestine, which are known as intraepithelial lymphocytes, to potent anti-death signals initiated by the soluble factor IL-15 contributes to the development of enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma.
A team of researchers, at INSERM U989, Université René Descartes, France, has now identified the survival signals delivered by IL-15 to freshly isolated human intraepithelial lymphocytes and to intraepithelial lymphocyte cell lines derived from patients with type II refractory celiac disease -- a clinical state considered an intermediary step between celiac disease and enteropathy-associated T cell lymphoma. Importantly, treatment with an antibody directed at IL-15 caused intraepithelial lymphocytes to die and wiped out their accumulation in mice overexpressing human IL-15 in the lining of their gut.
The team, led by Nadine Cerf-Bensussan and Bertrand Meresse, therefore suggests that IL-15 and its downstream survival signals might provide new targets for the treatment of type II refractory celiac disease.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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