Role of cytokines in alveolar macrophage accessory cell function in HIV- infected individuals

H. L. Twigg, G. K. Iwamoto, D. M. Soliman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Mononuclear phagocytes, including alveolar macrophages (AM), can be chronically infected with HIV and thus serve as a reservoir for the virus. Acting as AC during the generation of an immune response, HIV-infected mononuclear phagocytes can facilitate viral T cell infection by several mechanisms, including direct contact of T cells with HIV-infected macrophages as well as cytokine-induced up-regulation of latent T cell infection. Our laboratory has shown that AM from HIV-infected individuals have enhanced AC function compared to normal AM. In this study we explored AM production and secretion of IL-1β and IL-6, two cytokines critical for optimal AC function, in normal volunteers and HIV-infected patients. Cultured AM supernatants and lysates were generated in the presence and absence of LPS and standard mitogens. In initial mixing experiments HIV AM supernatants enhanced mitogen-induced T cell proliferation using normal AM as AC significantly more than normal AM supernatants, suggesting that HIV AM secreted more T cell stimulatory factors than normal AM. Neither group could enhance T cell proliferation induced by HIV AM suggesting these cells already secreted optimal levels of these factors. AM from HIV+ individuals produced and secreted more IL-1β (measured by ELISA) and IL-6 (measured in a B9 bioassay and by immunoprecipitation) than normal AM both spontaneously and in the presence of low LPS concentrations and mitogens. In some cases depleting HIV AM supernatants of IL-1β and IL-6 on immunoaffinity columns abrogated their enhancement properties indicating that these cytokines were important in the observed enhancement. However, in other patients different factors must also be involved as depletion of IL-1# and IL-6 in their AM supernatants had no effect on enhancement function. These results show that HIV AM secretory products are important in the enhanced AC function demonstrated by these cells. However, although augmented IL-1β and IL-6 secretion likely contribute significantly to this enhancement, other AC secretory factors and/ or functions must also be involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1462-1469
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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