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Viral Immunol. 1991 Spring;4(1):33-42.

Synthetic peptides corresponding to sequences in HIV envelope gp41 and gp120 enhance in vitro production of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor but depress production of interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma and interleukin-2.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.


Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections have aberrant production of a number of lymphokines and monokines. Envelope glycoproteins are believed to be important in HIV pathogenesis and may influence the production of these cytokines. Therefore, synthetic peptides corresponding to amino acid sequences 735-752 and 846-860 of glycoprotein gp41 and to amino acid sequence 304-328 of gp120 were investigated for their abilities to affect the production of the following cytokines by normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the presence of appropriate inducers: interferon (IFN)-alpha, IFN-gamma, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In contrast to cells and inducers alone (or in the presence of a control peptide), gp41 or gp120 synthetic peptides were able to depress the production of IFN-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL-2. In contrast, these peptides produced an elevation of the production of IL-1 and TNF. The effect of the gp41 peptides was more marked than that of gp120 peptides in most cases. These studies indicate that these HIV envelope glycoproteins may be directly responsible for aberrant lymphokine and monokine production in patients infected with this virus and therefore may be at least partially responsible for the pathogenesis of AIDS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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