We determined the capacity of peripheral blood monocytes from 19 patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or related conditions (1 with lymphadenopathy, 8 with AIDS-related complex, and 10 with AIDS) to produce intracellular and extracellular interleukin-1 (IL-1) spontaneously and upon stimulation with bacterial endotoxin. All patients with anti-human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III antibody positive. Results were compared with those obtained with 10 normal controls of similar age. A subset of patients who spontaneously produced high amounts of intracellular and extracellular IL-1 was identified. Total production of IL-1 in this subset was an average of 2.9 times that of controls. It is suggested that spontaneous production of IL-1 in this group represents an in vivo phenomenon since it was associated with more than 3 g of globulins per deciliter of serum, more than 2,300 mg of immunoglobulins per deciliter of serum, higher IgA values, higher titers of anti-Epstein-Barr virus antibodies, and lower neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. The role of Epstein-Barr virus, human immunodeficiency virus itself, or other infectious agents in spontaneous IL-1 production by these patients remains to be determined. Stimulation with endotoxin induced intracellular and extracellular IL-1 production to similar levels in patients and controls. These results show that AIDS patients are able to produce and release IL-1. High idiopathic production of IL-1 identified in some patients can help to explain the hypergammaglobulinemia seen in AIDS patients and might also be related to progression and severity of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)