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Frontiers of Medicine

ISSN 2095-0217

ISSN 2095-0225(Online)

CN 11-5983/R

Postal Subscription Code 80-967

2018 Impact Factor: 1.847

Front. Med.    2015, Vol. 9 Issue (2) : 139-145     DOI: 10.1007/s11684-015-0377-z
Beneficial metabolic activities of inflammatory cytokine interleukin 15 in obesity and type 2 diabetes
Jianping Ye()
Antioxidant and Gene Regulation Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
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In obesity, chronic inflammation is believed to induce insulin resistance and impairs adipose tissue function. Although this view is supported by a large body of literature, it has been challenged by growing evidence that pro-inflammatory cytokines may favor insulin sensitivity through induction of energy expenditure. In this review article, interleukin 15 (IL-15) is used as a new example to explain the beneficial effects of the pro-inflammatory cytokines. IL-15 is secreted by multiple types of cells including macrophages, neutrophils and skeletal muscle cells. IL-15 expression is induced in immune cells by endotoxin and in muscle cells by physical exercise. Its transcription is induced by transcription factor NF-κB. IL-15 binds to its receptor that contains three different subunits (α, β and γ) to activate JAK/STAT, PI3K/Akt, IKK/NF-κB and JNK/AP1 pathways in cells. In the regulation of metabolism, IL-15 reduces weight gain without inhibiting food intake in rodents. IL-15 suppresses lipogenesis, stimulates brown fat function, improves insulin sensitivity through weight loss and energy expenditure. In human, circulating IL-15 is negatively associated with body weight. In the immune system, IL-15 stimulates proliferation and differentiation of T cells, NK cells, monocytes and neutrophils. In the anti-obesity effects of IL-15, T cells and NK cells are not required, but leptin receptor is required. In summary, evidence from human and rodents supports that the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-15 may enhance energy expenditure to protect the body from obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mechanism of IL-15 action remains to be fully uncovered in the regulation of energy expenditure.

Keywords inflammation      obesity      cytokine      energy expenditure      insulin resistance     
Corresponding Authors: Jianping Ye   
Just Accepted Date: 06 November 2014   Online First Date: 12 December 2014    Issue Date: 22 May 2015
URL:     OR
Fig.1  Cellular sources and signaling pathways of IL-15.
Fig.2  Regulation of fat and glucose metabolism by IL-15.
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