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Int J Dermatol. 2000 Dec;39(12):903-6.

Cytokines in the pruritic papular eruption of HIV.

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Division of Dermatology and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.



The immunopathogenic mechanism of the pruritic papular eruption (PPE) of patients with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is poorly understood, and the objective of the present study was to determine the concentration of the serum cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-12, and gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN) in an attempt to recognize the pattern of CD4+/CD8+ lymphocytes occurring in this dermatosis.


The study was conducted on 11 HIV-positive PPE patients, matched for sex and age with eight HIV-infected patients with no dermatosis and 10 healthy HIV-negative individuals. Cytokines were quantified by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) using monoclonal antibodies (R & D Systems) and the data were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis, and Spearman correlation tests.


An increased concentration of IL-2 was observed in both the HIV-positive (77.65 pg/mL, P < 0.001) and PPE (20.42 pg/mL, P < 0.05) groups when compared with the HIV-negative group (9.50 pg/mL). The IL-2 concentration was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the HIV-positive group than in the PPE group. Similarly, the gamma-IFN concentration was higher in the HIV-positive (14.97 pg/mL) and PPE (12.67 pg/mL) groups when compared with the HIV-negative group (8.58 pg/mL). The IL-12 concentration was similar in the PPE and HIV-positive groups (1.82 and 1.68 pg/mL, respectively), but higher than in the HIV-negative group (1.17 pg/mL). The same occurred with IL-5 (17.78, 17.79, and 15.74 pg/mL, respectively). There was no significant difference in IL-4 concentration among the PPE, HIV-positive, and HIV-negative groups (10.95, 7.88, and 10.16 pg/mL, respectively), and the same was observed for IL-10 (22.41, 21.13, and 20.92, respectively). There was a negative correlation between serum gamma-IFN concentration and peripheral CD4+ lymphocyte number (r = - 0.6256) in the PPE group (P < 0.05).


The lower levels of IL-2 and gamma-IFN and the negative correlation between gamma-IFN and peripheral CD4+ lymphocytes may indicate an early phase of immunosuppression in PPE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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