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Clin Exp Immunol. 1998 Oct;114(1):61-5.

Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and TNF-related molecules in HIV-1+ individuals: relationship with in vitro Th1/Th2-type response.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.


We examined the secretion and expression by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of TNF-alpha and TNF-related molecules with regard to Th1/Th2-type cytokine production. In 76 HIV+ patients at different disease stages and in 25 controls we measured cytokine (TNF-alpha/beta, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-2, IL-4, IL-10), and activation marker secretion (sCD4, sCD8, sCD30) in phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated and unstimulated PBMC cultures by ELISA, and membrane-bound TNF-alpha and CD30 expression by flow cytometry. We found an expansion of the TNF system in HIV+ individuals, that positively correlated with TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and sCD8, probably representing activation of the cytotoxic compartment. In advanced disease these correlations disappeared, and TNF-alpha and TNF-related molecules positively correlated with IL-10. Our results are in line with the hypothesis that an expanded TNF system is immunopathological in conjunction with Th2-type immunity in the advanced stage of disease and with the inexorable progression to disease seen when both IL-10 and TNF-alpha are elevated.

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