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Hum Immunol. 2001 Feb;62(2):191-6.

Association between high serum prolactin levels and concomitant infections in HIV-infected patients.

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Consejo de Investigaciones, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina.


Although prolactin (PRL) is now recognized as a cytokine and persistent immune activation is a common immunopathogenic feature of the human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), the circumstances associated with the onset of hyperprolactinemia during the course of this infection remain controversial. Given that PRL is able to exert not only endocrinologic effects but also immunologic influences, a study was conducted to investigate whether raised serum levels of PRL were more likely to prevail when HIV-infected patients developed concomitant infections. Serum PRL concentrations, as well as immunoglobulin isotypes, plasmatic viral burden, CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD19+, and natural killer (NK) cell counts were measured in 46 nonselected HIV-infected patients stratified on the basis of the presence or absence of clinically active concomitant infections. Serum PRL levels were significantly higher in patients presenting secondary infections as compared with the asymptomatic ones, with hyperprolactinemia being detected in 10/18 (55%) and 2/28 (7%) of these patient groups, respectively. Hyperprolactinemia was not related with viral burden, antiretroviral treatment, gender differences, or CD4+ cell counts. CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ cells were significantly lower in the group presenting active infections, whereas comparisons in NK cell counts, immunoglobulin levels and HIV viral burden revealed no differences between groups. These results provide evidence that hyperprolactinemia is more prevalent during the onset of secondary infections, which might have diagnostic and therapeutic consequences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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