It has been shown that IL-2 and IL-15 can have opposing effects on life and death of T cells. However, the role of IL-2 and IL-15 in regulating the fate of other cell types is less clear. In the present study, we examined the impact of IL-2 and IL-15 on life and death of pre-B cells using the BAF-B03 line. We showed that BAF-B03 cells constitutively expressed the private IL-2R alpha chain and IL-15R alpha chain, and the shared IL-2R beta chain and gamma c chain. Stimulation of BAF-B03 cells in vitro with IL-2 and IL-15 induced vigorous cell proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion. Titration of IL-2 and IL-15 in the assay showed that the mitotic effects of IL-2 and IL-15 were remarkably similar. However, the sensitivities of BAF-B03 cells to Fas mediated apoptosis after IL-2 and IL-15 stimulation were strikingly different. Cells cultured in IL-2 readily underwent apoptotic cell death upon cross-linking of the Fas receptor whereas cells cultured in IL-15 were extremely resistant to Fas triggered cell death. The anti-apoptotic effect of IL-15 in this model was associated with increased expression of Bcl-xL. FLIP expression, however, was comparable between IL-2 and IL-15 stimulated cells. We conclude that IL-2 and IL-15 have diametrically opposite effect on the fate of BAF-B03 cells, although both cytokines share similar receptor structure and exhibit similar mitotic activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalCellular & molecular immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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