NCI Drug Dictionary
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A recombinant agent that is chemically identical or similar to the endogenous cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) with immunomodulating activity. IL-15, secreted by mononuclear phagocytes (and some other cell types) following viral infection, regulates T and natural killer cell activation and proliferation. This cytokine induces activation of transcription activators STAT3, STAT5, and STAT6 via JAK kinase signal transduction pathways in mast cells, T cells, and dendritic epidermal T cells. IL-15 and interleukin-2 (IL-2) are structurally similar and share many biological activities; both may bind to common hematopoietin receptor subunits, negatively regulating each other's activity. CD8+ memory T cell number has been shown to be regulated by a balance between IL-15 and IL-2. Check for active clinical trials or closed clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)