Plasma interleukin-18 is associated with viral load and disease progression in HIV-1-infected patients
Wiercinska-Drapalo, A.; Jaroszewicz, J.; Flisiak, R.; Prokopowicz, D.
Microbes and Infection 6(14): 1273-1277
ISSN/ISBN: 1286-4579 PMID: 15555533 DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2004.07.009
Recent studies demonstrate persistent elevation of interleukin-18 (IL-18) concentration in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients. Due to pleiotropic action of IL-18 on the immune system, dysregulation of its synthesis may lead to inappropriate immune activation. The aim of this study was to determine possible correlation between IL-18 levels and the natural stages of HIV-1 infection. IL-18 plasma concentrations were determined in 42 patients in different stages of an HIV-1 infection and in 15 healthy controls. HIV infection resulted in a more than fourfold increase of plasma IL-18 concentration compared to healthy individuals (865 +/- 87 vs. 206 +/- 32 pg/ml, P < 0.001). Moreover, a positive correlation between plasma IL-18 concentration and HIV viral load was found (r = 0.44, P < 0.01). Further analysis showed marked elevation of IL-18 levels in late-stage symptomatic patients. Plasma IL-18 concentrations in patients receiving high-activity antiretroviral treatment (HAART) were significantly lower than in those not undergoing antiretroviral treatment. Individuals who did not reach viral suppression showed higher IL-18 plasma concentration than the group with achieved viral suppression. Excessive production of IL-18 observed in our study may promote viral replication and disease progression in advanced, especially late-stage HIV-infected patients. Furthermore, reduction of IL-18 concentration can be an important step in HAART-related immune restoration.