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Clin Transl Immunology. 2014 Feb 28;3(2):e10. doi: 10.1038/cti.2014.1. eCollection 2014 Feb.

Interferon-alpha, immune activation and immune dysfunction in treated HIV infection.

Author information

1
School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
2
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University , Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia.
3
Department of Clinical Immunology and Pathwest Laboratory Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital , Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
4
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University , Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia ; Department of Clinical Immunology and Pathwest Laboratory Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital , Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
5
School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Western Australia , Crawley, Western Australia, Australia ; Department of Clinical Immunology and Pathwest Laboratory Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital , Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

Type I interferons (IFNs) exert anti-viral effects through the induction of numerous IFN-stimulated genes and an immunomodulatory effect on innate and adaptive immune responses. This is beneficial in controlling virus infections but prolonged IFN-α activity in persistent virus infections, such as HIV infection, may contribute to immune activation and have a detrimental effect on the function of monocytes and T and B lymphocytes. Activation of monocytes, associated with increased IFN-α activity, contributes to atherosclerotic vascular disease, brain disease and other 'age-related diseases' in HIV patients treated with long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART). In HIV patients receiving ART, the anti-viral effects of IFN-α therapy have the potential to contribute to eradication of HIV infection while IFN-α inhibitor therapy is under investigation for the treatment of immune activation. The management of HIV patients receiving ART will be improved by understanding more about the opposing effects of IFN-α on HIV infection and disease and by developing methods to assess IFN-α activity in clinical practice.

KEYWORDS:

HIV; immune activation; interferon-alpha; monocytes; type I interferons

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