Effects of subcutaneous interleukin-2 therapy on phenotype and function of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in human immunodeficiency virus infected patients
Aladdin, H.; Larsen, C.S.; Møller, B.K.; Ullum, H.; Buhl, M.R.; Gerstoft, J.; Skinhøj, P.; Pedersen, B.K.
Scandinavian Journal of Immunology 51(2): 168-175
ISSN/ISBN: 0300-9475 PMID: 10722371 DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.2000.00673.x
In the context of clinical therapy with recombinant human interleukin-2 (IL-2), we monitored immunological alteration in 10 human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals, on stable antiretroviral therapy, who had a CD4+ cell count between 200 and 500 cells/mm3. Subcutaneous IL-2 was prescribed thrice weekly (at a dose of 3 X 106 IU) for 24 weeks and the patients were followed-up for 32 weeks. IL-2 treatment induced an increase in the CD4+ percentage (P < 0.001) and CD4+ cell count (P < 0.009). Furthermore, natural killer (NK) cell activity was increased (P < 0.001) at week 8 of treatment, whereas lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell activity showed a transient, nonsignificant increase at week 8 and was reduced (P < 0.001) at 32 weeks. However, the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity decreased against HIV antigens, and the proliferative response to Candida, IL-2 and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) declined during the first 8 weeks (P < 0.05) and returned to baseline levels after 32 weeks. The HIV RNA level did not change during IL-2 therapy; however, after 8 weeks of follow-up a significant increase (P < 0.001) in viral load was observed. In conclusion, continuous IL-2 treatment to HIV-infected individuals enhanced the CD4 count, but the in vitro lymphocyte function was impaired and an increase in viral replication occurred after treatment.