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Nat Med. 2001 Jan;7(1):73-9.

Increased production of IL-7 accompanies HIV-1-mediated T-cell depletion: implications for T-cell homeostasis.

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Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, San Francisco General Hospital, and Department of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94110-9100, USA.


We hypothesized that HIV-1-mediated T-cell loss might induce the production of factors that are capable of stimulating lymphocyte development and expansion. Here we perform cross-sectional (n = 168) and longitudinal (n = 11) analyses showing that increased circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-7 are strongly associated with CD4+ T lymphopenia in HIV-1 disease. Using immunohistochemistry with quantitative image analysis, we demonstrate that IL-7 is produced by dendritic-like cells within peripheral lymphoid tissues and that IL-7 production by these cells is greatly increased in lymphocyte-depleted tissues. We propose that IL-7 production increases as part of a homeostatic response to T-cell depletion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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