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J Virol. 2003 Apr;77(7):4389-95.

Interleukin-7-dependent production of RANTES that correlates with human immunodeficiency virus disease progression.

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  • 1Retrovirology Laboratory irsiCaixa, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.


There is a relationship between CD4-T-cell number and circulating interleukin 7 (IL-7) levels in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals. Here, we show that IL-7 induced a dose-dependent production of CCL3 (MIP-1alpha), CCL4 (MIP-1beta), and CCL5 (RANTES) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), ex vivo tonsil lymphoid tissue of HIV(-) individuals, and PBMC from HIV(+) individuals, suggesting that IL-7 may regulate beta-chemokine production in vivo. In a cross-sectional study of HIV(+) individuals (n = 130), a weak but significant correlation between IL-7 and RANTES was noted (r = 0.379; P < 0.001). Remarkably, the correlation between IL-7 and RANTES increased to an r value of 0.798 (P < 0.001) if individuals with low CD4 cell counts (<200 cells/ micro l) were excluded from the analysis. Our results suggest that there is a relationship between IL-7 and the production of RANTES both in vitro and in vivo that is lost in immune-compromised patients (CD4 count of <200 cells/ micro l) but that could be restored by antiretroviral therapy. Unlike the case for IL-7, high levels of RANTES suggest an intermediate stage of HIV disease progression.

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