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PLoS One. 2016 Nov 23;11(11):e0167091. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167091. eCollection 2016.

Interleukin-15 (IL-15) Strongly Correlates with Increasing HIV-1 Viremia and Markers of Inflammation.

Author information

1
Applied and Developmental Research Directorate, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, 21702, United States of America.
2
Department of Clinical Immunology, Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia.
3
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
4
School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.
5
Biostatistics Research Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, 20892, United States of America.
6
Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, United States of America.
7
Division of Clinical Research, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 20892, United States of America.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

IL-15 has been postulated to play an important role in HIV-1 infection, yet there are conflicting reports regarding its expression levels in these patients. We sought to measure the level of IL-15 in a large, well characterised cohort of HIV-1 infected patients and correlate this with well known markers of inflammation, including CRP, D-dimer, sCD163 and sCD14.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

IL-15 levels were measured in 501 people (460 patients with HIV-1 infection and 41 uninfected controls). The HIV-1 infected patients were divided into 4 groups based on viral load: <50 copies/ml, 51-10,000 copies/ml, 10,001-100,000 copies/ml and >100,000 copies/ml. The Mann Whitney test (non-parametric) was used to identify significant relationships between different patient groups.

RESULTS:

IL-15 levels were significantly higher in patients with viral loads >100,000 copies/ml (3.02 ± 1.53 pg/ml) compared to both uninfected controls (1.69 ± 0.37 pg/ml, p<0.001) or patients with a viral load <50 copies/ml (1.59 ± 0.40 pg/ml (p<0.001). There was a significant correlation between HIV-1 viremia and IL-15 levels (Spearman r = 0.54, p<0.001) and between CD4+ T cell counts and IL-15 levels (Spearman r = -0.56, p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

IL-15 levels are significantly elevated in HIV-1 infected patients with viral loads >100,000 copies/ml compared to uninfected controls, with a significant direct correlation noted between IL-15 and HIV-1 viremia and an inverse correlation between IL-15 levels and CD4+ T cell counts. These data support a potential role for IL-15 in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated immune activation.

PMID:
27880829
PMCID:
PMC5120855
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0167091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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