IL-2 production and response in vitro by the leukocytes of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome

J. M. Reuben, Evan M Hersh, J. Lee Murray

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In order to investigate the nature of the T cell defect associated with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) we studied the ability of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 8 patients with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), 2 with opportunistic infection (OI), 23 with AIDS-related symptoms complex (ARC) without KS or OI (ARC), and 29 heterosexual controls to produce interleukin II (IL-2) on phytohemagglutinin (PHA) stimulation and to respond to exogenously supplied IL-2. Patients with AIDS as well as those with ARC produced adequate levels of Il-2 in response to lectin stimulation when compared to controls (AIDS, 3.07 ± 1.98 units; ARC, 3.03 ± 1.89 units; control, 3.75 ± 1.52 units). However, the ability of these patients' cells to respond in vitro to exogenously supplied IL-2 as measured on short-term PHA-stimulated T cell blasts was found to be severely impaired in patients with AIDS and ARC (AIDS, 22.4 ± 6.0 x 10-3 cpm; ARC, 20.1 ± 4.2 x 10-3 cpm; control, 41.4 ± 4.2 x 10-3 cpm). This impairment was associated with diminished expression of the IL-2 receptor on 7-day-old lectin-stimulated T cells from both patient groups (AIDS, 17.7 ± 5.7; ARC, 36.8 ± 4.4; control, 71.8 ± 1.7). These results should be considered when IL-2 is proposed as potential therapy in the treatment of AIDS. They also suggest that the nature of the AIDS defect is related to impaired hormone receptor expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-377
Number of pages19
JournalAIDS Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


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