Restoration of HIV-specific cell-mediated immune responses by interleukin-12 in vitro

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Science  10 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5140, pp. 1721-1724
DOI: 10.1126/science.7903123


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from many asymptomatic individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV) are unresponsive as measured by in vitro T cell proliferation and interleukin-2 (IL-2) production to influenza virus and synthetic peptides of HIV envelope (Env). Strong influenza virus- and Env-stimulated IL-2 responses and T cell proliferation were restored when cultures were stimulated in the presence of IL-12. Interferon-gamma production by PBMCs from HIV seropositive (HIV+) patients was also restored with IL-12. Furthermore, in vitro antigen-specific production of IL-2 and proliferation of PBMCs from HIV- donors were suppressed by antibody to IL-12, but were not enhanced by addition of exogenous IL-12. Thus, IL-12 may be limiting in PBMCs from HIV+ but not HIV- individuals. These findings demonstrate that IL-12 can restore HIV-specific cell-mediated immunity in vitro in HIV-infected individuals and suggest a potential use of IL-12 in augmenting the diminished immunologic functions associated with HIV infection.