Skin lesions from mycosis fungoides (MF) patients display an increased expression of interleukin-15 (IL-15), IL-17F, and other cytokines implicated in inflammation and malignant cell proliferation in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). In the leukemic variant of CTCL, Sézary syndrome (SS), IL-2 and IL-15 trigger activation of the Jak-3/STAT3 pathway and transcription of IL17A gene, whereas it is unknown what causes IL-15 expression, Jak3/STAT3 activation, and production of IL-17F in MF. Here, we studied the expression and regulation of IL-15 and its relation to IL-17F in MF cell lines and skin lesions from 60 MF patients. We show that: (1) the spontaneous IL-15 mRNA expression is resistant to Jak3 and STAT3 inhibitors at concentrations that profoundly inhibit STAT3 activation and IL-17F mRNA expression; (2) anti-IL-15 antibody blocks STAT3 activation induced by exogenous IL-15 in non-malignant MF T cells, whereas the spontaneous STAT3 activation and IL-17F expression in malignant T cells is not inhibited; (3) patients display heterogeneous IL-15/IL-17F mRNA expression patterns in skin lesions; and (4) IL-15 expression (in contrast to IL-17F) is not associated with progressive disease. Taken together, these findings indicate that IL-15 and IL-17F are differentially regulated and expressed in MF. We propose that IL-15 and IL-17F are markers for different inflammatory environments and play distinct roles in the development and progression of MF.
Cell Cycle, 2014, Vol 13, Issue 8, p. 1306-12
Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't