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Viral Immunol. 2004;17(1):109-13.

Increased plasma transforming growth factor-beta1 is associated with disease progression in HIV-1-infected patients.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.


Transforming growth factor-beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a variety of effects on a wide range of cells in the immune system. Evidence suggests that TGF-beta(1) is also involved in the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections. The aim of this study was to explore possible relationships between circulating TGF-beta(1) and immune as well as clinical HIV infection parameters with special impact on disease progression. TGF-beta(1) concentrations were measured by ELISA in the plasma of 66 patients in different stages of HIV infection and 20 healthy controls. HIV infection resulted in a significant increase of plasma TGF-beta(1) concentration compared to healthy individuals (11.4 +/- 6.8 vs. 6.1 +/- 1.5 ng/mL, p < 0.01). TGF-beta(1) values showed a significant negative correlation with CD4 cells count (r = -0.42, p = 0.001), as well as with CD8 cells count (r = -0.031, p < 0.05). Moreover, patients with the symptomatic phase of HIV infection presented an almost twofold increase of plasma TGF-beta(1) concentration in comparison to asymptomatic patients and healthy individuals. Our results demonstrate the relationship between TGF-beta(1) concentrations and HIV infection advancement with marked elevation in the late stages of the disease. These findings support in vitro observations suggesting an important, immunosuppressive role of TGF-beta(1) in HIV infection pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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