Intercepting IL-15 in celiac disease

A group of American and Japanese researchers has shown that blocking IL-15 signaling decreased inflammation and tissue damage associated with celiac disease in mice.1 They now hope to acquire funding to test the strategy in the clinic, where it could help patients who fail to respond adequately to nutritional therapy.

Each team had separately zeroed in on IL-15 as a key player in lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune diseases. National Cancer Institute researchers are running a Phase I trial of an IL-15 receptor-targeting antibody to treat T cell lymphocytic leukemia,2 whereas the Japanese researchers are studying IL-15's role in gastrointestinal autoimmune disease.3

The two groups have now joined forces to test the IL-15 receptor-targeting antibody in mice that show gut inflammation similar to that seen in patients with celiac disease.

Celiac disease is unique among autoimmune disorders because its triggering antigen has been identified-dietary

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