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Current HIV Research


ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

Research Article

The Effect of Antiretroviral Therapy on IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ Levels and their Relationship with HIV-RNA and CD4+ T Cells in HIV Patients

Author(s): Gülay Okay*, Meliha Meric Koc, Eray Metin Guler, Ayşegül Yabaci, Abdürrahim Kocyigit and Yasemin Akkoyunlu

Volume 18, Issue 5, 2020

Page: [354 - 361] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1570162X18666200712174642

Price: $65


Background: Serum cytokine levels over the course of HIV infection usually increase with immunosuppression and decrease after antiretroviral treatment (ART).

Objectives: The aim of the study is to compare cytokine levels between HIV-infected patients (HIP) and controls and investigate the relationship between CD4+T cell count, HIV-RNA levels, and cytokine levels.

Methods: The study subjects comprised ART-naive HIP (n=30) with no comorbidities and age-and sex-matched healthy controls. We measured levels of IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFN-γ in serum samples of HIP at the beginning and at month 6 of ART and in controls.

Results: The mean age of the study subjects was 38.7 ±10.3 years, with men making up 86.7% of the study subjects (n=26). IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α levels were significantly higher in both ART-naive (p<0.001, p=0.002, p=0.001) and ART-experienced HIP (p<0.001) than controls. The IFN-γ level was lower in both ART-naive and ART-experienced HIP compared to controls (p=0.082 and p=0.002). There was a positive correlation between the CD4+T cell count and serum concentration of IFN- γ(r=0.320, p<0.05). While the serum IFN-γ concentration showed a negative correlation with the HIVRNA level(r=-0.412, p<0.001), the serum IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α concentrations showed a positive correlation with the HIV-RNA level (r=0.349, p<0.001; r:0.54, p<0.001; r:0.438, p<0.00).

Conclusion: Although serum concentrations of IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α showed a significant decrease after ART, they were still significantly higher than the controls. IFN-γ responded differently to ART compared to the other cytokines, indicating that it may play a distinct and important role in the pathogenesis of HIV infection.

Keywords: IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, HIV infection, cytokines, antiretroviral treatment.

Graphical Abstract
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