This study examined the mechanisms underlying the intense activation of HIV-1-specific B cells observed in peripheral blood of HIV-1-infected subjects. Spontaneous in vitro synthesis of anti-HIV-1 antibodies, as well as total Ig production, were dramatically reduced by accessory cell, but not T cell removal. This fall was counteracted by addition of rIL-6,but not other cytokines,to monocyte-depleted cultures; moreover, antisera against IL-6 suppressed spontaneous anti-HIV-1 antibody synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Although IL-6 apparently sustained HIV-1-specific B cell activation, no increase in serum IL-6 levels was observed; PBMC from seropositive subjects did not produce increased amounts of IL-6 in vitro, compared to seronegative controls, both spontaneously and in the presence of LPS stimulation; finally, no constitutive expression of IL-6 gene could be documented in freshly isolated PBMC. These findings indicate that IL-6 may play a central role in HIV-1-specific B cell activation in seropositive patients, and further stress the importance of this cytokine during HIV-1 infection.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
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