In vitro immunologic and virologic effects of interleukin 15 on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal donors and human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients
Lucey, D.R.; Pinto, L.A.; Bethke, F.R.; Rusnak, J.; Melcher, G.P.; Hashemi, F.N.; Landay, A.L.; Kessler, H.A.; Paxton, R.J.; Grabstein, K.; Shearer, G.M.
Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 4(1): 43-48
Interleukin 15 (IL-15) is a cytokine that shares receptor subunits and functional activity, such as T-cell and B-cell stimulation, with IL-2. The effect of IL-2 on immune function and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral load in HIV-infected patients is being actively studied. Thus, we examined how IL-15 compares with IL-2 in several in vitro immunologic and virologic assays in order to explore whether a rationale exists for pursuing initial clinical therapeutic trials with IL-15. The effects of IL-15 on induction of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) production from HIV-positive peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and HIV production from PBMCs were studied. Induction of LAK cells by IL-15 was found in eight of eight HIV-positive donors. Incubation of PBMCs from some donors with IL-15 (1, 10, 50, and 100 ng/ml) induced production of IFN-gamma. The effect of IL-15 was compared with that of IL-2 on HIV replication in PBMCs from five HIV-positive patients and four HIV-negative donors whose PBMCs were infected in vitro with HIV. Levels of HIV p24 antigen were moderately lower in the presence of 10 ng of IL-15 per ml than with 10 ng of IL-2 per ml, but they were similar for 100 and 500 ng of each cytokine per ml. In summary, IL-15 can induce LAK cell activity in HIV-seropositive patients and can stimulate IFN-gamma production from PBMCs of some donors. IL-15 stimulates levels of HIV production from PBMCs which are similar to or moderately lower than those obtained with IL-2, depending on cytokine concentration.