The effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and high-level HIV replication on the function of monocytes was investigated. HIV-positive patients had elevated levels of spontaneous production of some or all of the monocyte proinflammatory cytokines measured (interleukin-1β [IL-1β], IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) compared to uninfected controls. In patients on therapy with high frequencies of monocytes producing proinflammatory cytokines, this frequency was diminished in the contest of viremia during an interruption of therapy. Diminished production of proinflammatory cytokines during viremia was restored by culture with autologous CD4+ T cells or monocytes from an on-therapy time point or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Microarray analysis demonstrated that diminished monocyte production of proinflammatory cytokines was correlated with elevated type I interferon-stimulated gene transcripts. The addition of exogenous alpha 2A Interferon diminished the spontaneous production of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α but did not affect responses to LPS, recapitulating the changes observed for HIV-viremic patients. These results suggest that monocyte function is diminished during high-level HIV viremia and that this effect is mediated by chronic stimulation by type I interferons. This effect on monocytes during viremia may play a role in diminished innate or adaptive immune system functions in HIV-infected patients. In addition, the restoration of these functions may also play a role in some immune reconstitution syndromes observed during initiation of therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science