Idiopathic production of interleukin-1 in acquired immune deficiency syndrome

J. L. Lepe-Zuniga, P. W.A. Mansell, E. M. Hersh

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86 Scopus citations


We determined the capacity of peripheral blood monocytes from 19 patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or related conditions (1 with lymphadenopathy, 8 with AIDS-related complex, and 10 with AIDS) to produce intracellular and extracellular interleukin-1 (IL-1) spontaneously and upon stimulation with bacterial endotoxin. All patients with anti-human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III antibody positive. Results were compared with those obtained with 10 normal controls of similar age. A subset of patients who spontaneously produced high amounts of intracellular and extracellular IL-1 was identified. Total production of IL-1 in this subset was an average of 2.9 times that of controls. It is suggested that spontaneous production of IL-1 in this group represents an in vivo phenomenon since it was associated with more than 3 g of globulins per deciliter of serum, more than 2,300 mg of immunoglobulins per deciliter of serum, higher IgA values, higher titers of anti-Epstein-Barr virus antibodies, and lower neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. The role of Epstein-Barr virus, human immunodeficiency virus itself, or other infectious agents in spontaneous IL-1 production by these patients remains to be determined. Stimulation with endotoxin induced intracellular and extracellular IL-1 production to similar levels in patients and controls. These results show that AIDS patients are able to produce and release IL-1. High idiopathic production of IL-1 identified in some patients can help to explain the hypergammaglobulinemia seen in AIDS patients and might also be related to progression and severity of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1700
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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