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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2001 May 1;27(1):1-6.

Cytokine profile and immunomodulation in asymptomatic human T-lymphotropic virus type 1-infected blood donors.

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Serviço de Imunologia, Hospital Universitário Prof. Edgard Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


The modulation of the immune response has been used as therapy for clinical disorders associated with human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection. In this study, the cytokine profile was evaluated in 26 asymptomatic HTLV-1 blood donors. Additionally, both the cell responsible for producing interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and the role of exogenous interleukin (IL)-10 in downregulating IFN-gamma production were studied. Cytokine levels were determined in supernatants of unstimulated lymphocyte cultures by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, IL-5, and IL-10 were higher in supernatants of the lymphocyte cultures taken from HTLV-1-infected donors than in those taken from healthy subjects. Although depletion of CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells did not affect IFN-gamma production, depletion of CD4+ T cells significantly decreased IFN-gamma production. Furthermore, at a concentration of 2 ng/ml, IL-10 had only a minimum effect on IFN-gamma production, although at high concentrations (100 ng/ml), IL-10 decreased IFN-gamma production by 50% in HTLV-1-infected individuals. These data indicate that both T helper 1 and T helper 2 cytokines are elevated in HTLV-1 infection and that IL-10 in high concentrations modulates IFN-gamma production in these patients.

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