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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2002 Jun;35(6):697-701.

Induction of interleukin-10 by HIV antigens in peripheral mononuclear cells of health care workers after occupational exposure to HIV-1-positive blood.

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Disciplina de Doenças Infecciosas e Parasitárias, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.


Evaluation of HIV-induced IL-2 production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and HIV-specific T helper and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses in health care workers (HCW) occupationally exposed to HIV reveals a high rate of response to HIV among non-seroconverters. IL-10 is also known to interfere with HIV infection in vitro. To evaluate the induction of IL-10 by HIV antigens in HCW occupationally exposed to HIV, 18 HCW with percutaneous injury were enrolled in this study, 9 of them exposed to HIV-contaminated blood, and 9 exposed to HIV-negative blood. PBMC were incubated on plates coated with HIV-1 antigens, and IL-10 was measured in supernatants by ELISA. Five of nine HCW exposed to HIV-contaminated blood presented HIV-induced IL-10. Two of nine HCW exposed to HIV-negative source patients also had detectable levels of HIV-induced IL-10, one of them in the sample obtained on the day of accidental exposure. There was a relationship between the type of device involved in injury and IL-10 production. Individuals exposed to hollow needles or scalpels presented HIV-induced IL-10, whereas those exposed to solid needles and to digital puncture did not, suggesting a relationship between infectious load and IL-10. Although occupational exposure to HIV leads to a low rate of seroconversion, these individuals can develop an antigen-specific immune response characterized in our study by induction of IL-10 in PBMC in vitro.

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