Increased circulating interleukin-7 levels in HIV-1-infected women

Laura A. Napolitano, Trevor D. Burt, Peter Bacchetti, Yolanda Barrón, Audrey L. French, Andrea Kovacs, Kathryn Anastos, Mary Young, Joseph M. McCune, Ruth M. Greenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sex-based differences in CD4 T-cell (CD4) counts are well recognized, but the basis for these differences has not been identified. Conceivably, homeostatic factors may play a role in this process by regulating T-cell maintenance and repletion. Interleukin (IL)-7 is essential for normal T-cell production and homeostasis. We hypothesized that differences in IL-7 might contribute to sex-based differences in CD4 counts. Circulating IL-7 levels were analyzed in 299 HIV-1-infected women and men. Regression analysis estimated that IL-7 levels were 40% higher in women than in men (P = 0.0032) after controlling for CD4 count, age, and race. Given the important role of IL-7 in T-cell development and homeostasis, these findings suggest that higher IL-7 levels may contribute to higher CD4 counts in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-584
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • CD4-positive T cells
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-7
  • Sex differences
  • Sexual dimorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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