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Cell Immunol. 1997 May 25;178(1):91-8.

Circulating CD8 T cells show increased interferon-gamma mRNA expression in HIV infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1747, USA.


IFN-gamma mRNA levels were measured in unstimulated PBMC and purified cell subpopulations, utilizing branched DNA assays, to characterize the cell type(s) that contribute to the in vivo increase in IFN-gamma gene expression seen in HIV infection. PBMC and CD8 T cells from HIV-seropositive subjects (HIV+) showed 2.5-fold increases in mean IFN-gamma mRNA levels compared to HIV-uninfected subjects (HIV-). Within individuals, CD8 T cells showed the highest IFN-gamma expression regardless of HIV status, which suggests that HIV infection enhances the IFN-gamma gene expression in CD8 T cells rather than inducing a shift to and/or increasing expression of IFN-gamma mRNA in other cell types. HIV+ subjects with increased PBMC IFN-gamma mRNA had elevated plasma levels of HIV RNA, neopterin, and beta 2-microglobulin. No differences in IFN-gamma mRNA levels were seen among HIV+ stratified by CD4 T cell number. Increased IFN-gamma may result from or be a contributing factor to increased viral load.

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