Published in Volume
93, Issue 2
(February 1994)J Clin Invest.
1994, The American Society for
Role of interleukin-10 in T helper cell dysfunction in asymptomatic individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.
Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
Published February 1994
The loss of T helper cell (TH) function in asymptomatic HIV type 1-infected individuals occurs before the decline in CD4+ T cells. At least part of the loss in TH function results from changes in immunoregulatory cytokine profiles. To investigate the role of IL-10 in such dysregulation, we tested whether: (a) expression of IL-10-specific mRNA would be upregulated in PBMC from asymptomatic, HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals; (b) PBMC from these same individuals would produce increased levels of IL-10 when stimulated in vitro with phytohemagglutinin; and (c) defective antigen-specific TH function could be restored by anti-IL-10 antibody. We observed that IL-10-specific mRNA was marginally upregulated, and increased levels of IL-10 were produced by PBMC from HIV+ individuals compared with PBMC from uninfected individuals. Those individuals whose TH function was more severely compromised produced higher levels of IL-10. Additionally, defective antigen-specific TH function in vitro could be reversed by anti-IL-10 antibody, including the response to HIV envelope synthetic peptides. Furthermore, the antigen-specific TH responses of HIV-uninfected PBMC could be reduced with IL-10, a process reversed by anti-IL-10. These results confirm that the early loss of TH function in HIV+ individuals is due at least in part to cytokine-induced immune dysregulation, and support the hypothesis of a switch from a predominant type 1 state to a predominant type 2 condition in HIV infection.
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