The production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and IL-1 beta by the monocytic cell line THP-1, productively infected with HIV-1, was investigated using specific RIA and Northern blot analysis. HIV-infected cells, like uninfected cells, did not constitutively produce any detectable amounts of protein or mRNA for TNF alpha or IL-1 beta. After stimulation with LPS or a combination of LPS plus IFN-gamma, TNF alpha and IL-1 beta were detected in tissue culture supernatants and cell lysates and transcripts for both cytokines were seen on Northern blots. No significant difference in production of these two cytokines was observed between uninfected and chronically infected cells. Acutely HIV-infected cells, however, showed phenotypic changes compatible with maturation and an increase in TNF alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA production, and released significantly higher levels of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta compared with chronically infected or uninfected cells. Furthermore, LPS stimulation of HIV-infected cells increased virus production. These results suggest that HIV-infected monocytic cells may produce increased amounts of TNF alpha and IL-1 beta in response to stimuli that could be present in vivo.
J M Molina, D T Scadden, R Byrn, C A Dinarello, J E Groopman