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Decreased frequency of functional natural interferon-producing cells in peripheral blood of patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.


Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1994 May;71(2):223-30. Unique Identifier :

Deficient in vitro production of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) in response to herpes simplex virus (HSV) occurs in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), with the most deficient responses associated with opportunistic infections (OI). The peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) which produce IFN-alpha in response to HSV are light density, HLA-DR+ cells lacking any unique surface markers and have been termed natural interferon-producing cells (NIPC). In this study, IFN-alpha responses were measured and the ELISpot assay was utilized to determine the frequency of NIPC in response to HSV. As expected, HIV-infected patients had depressed IFN-alpha production. In the ELISpot assay, healthy controls had a mean frequency of 1:703 NIPC among PBMC; each NIPC made approximately 2 international units (IU) of IFN-alpha. HIV-infected patients on average had fourfold less NIPC than controls and produced 1 IU IFN-alpha/NIPC; the plaque size for patient samples was often smaller than that for controls. NIPC frequency and IFN-alpha production were lowest in patients with a history of OI. In conclusion, deficient IFN-alpha production by AIDS patients results from reductions in both the frequency and the activity of NIPC, probably reflecting a gradual turning off of IFN-alpha production.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*BLOOD Animal Cercopithecus aethiops Comparative Study Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Female Human HIV-1 Interferon-alpha/*BIOSYNTHESIS Leukocytes, Mononuclear/*METABOLISM Male Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. Vero Cells JOURNAL ARTICLE


Information in this article was accurate in August 30, 1994. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.