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J Infect Dis. 2012 Jul 1;206(1):69-72. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis312. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

GB virus type C infection polarizes T-cell cytokine gene expression toward a Th1 cytokine profile via NS5A protein expression.

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Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Doris Duke Scholars Program, Iowa City, Iowa, USA. .


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease progression is associated with a helper T cell 1 (Th1) to helper T cell 2 (Th2) cytokine profile switch. Persistent GB virus type C (GBV-C) infection is associated with survival and a serum Th1 cytokine profile in HIV-infected individuals. We found that GBV-C infection increased gene expression of Th1 cytokines and decreased Th2 cytokine expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, expression of GBV-C NS5A protein in a CD4(+) cell line resulted in upregulation of Th1 cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α) and downregulation of Th2 cytokines (interleukin 4, interleukin 5, interleukin 10, interleukin 13). GBV-C-induced modulation in T-cell cytokines may contribute to the beneficial effect of GBV-C in HIV-infected individuals.

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