Enhanced proliferation and IL-2 secretion by lung lymphocytes from HIV- infected subjects

B. A. Spain, D. M. Soliman, R. A. Sidner, H. L. Twigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients frequently develop a CD3+/CD8+ cytotoxic T cell lymphocytic alveolitis. This could occur through in situ expansion of lung lymphocytes. We evaluated lung and blood lymphocyte proliferation in asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals by measuring spontaneous and cytokine-induced tritiated thymidine incorporation. Interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-4 secretion was determined with the use of enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay, Western blotting, and immunoprecipitation techniques. Spontaneous proliferation by lung lymphocytes from HIV-positive patients was significantly greater than that of normal volunteers. Proliferation was confined to the CD8+ lymphocyte subset. Over time, spontaneous proliferation declined unless autologous alveolar macrophages (AM) were added, suggesting AM were providing additional stimulatory signals to lung lymphocytes. Lung and blood lymphocytes proliferated in response to IL-2 but not IL-4. Lymphocytes in HIV-infected lung spontaneously produced and secreted more IL-2 than either normal lung lymphocytes or autologous blood lymphocytes. IL-4 production was not detectable in either group. These findings support the hypothesis that lymphocytic alveolitis in asymptomatic HIV-positive patients results from IL-2-dependent in situ proliferation of CD3+/CD8+ cytotoxic T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L498-L506
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4 13-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • cytokines
  • cytotoxic T cells
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • interleukin-2
  • lymphocytic alveolitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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